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Recognition of religion or belief in Vietnam

According to the standards set out in the SRR, conditions for RoRB in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam are classified terminal.

Recognition of religion or belief in Vietnam


  • State atheism is in effect.

  • The term “institutionalisation” used in Vietnamese legislation equates to that of legal registration; it being two-pronged and these two stages mandated as being at least five years apart in essence creates a restrictive procedure for registration; the first part of the process called “registration for religious operation” is exactly that and only that; gaining this first stage of registration does not permit the group to expand in the country but only to operate at a low-level capacity; the imposed five year gap gives the authorities time to determine whether the group has become “institutionalised” which essentially denotes whether the group is suitably controlled by the government or not; the second stage “recognition” does not equate to existential recognition as it is discussed in recognitionist theory as it instead denotes merely the completion of legal registration which is essentially split into two halves; obtaining “recognition" however does not indirectly provide some degree of existential recognition to the denomination or belief system to which the organisation is affiliated; however, what these registration procedures mean in reality is greatly reduced from how they are presented in legislation as even groups having received full recognition continue to face restriction.

  • The rule of mandatory registration, particularly as this is imposed on all instances of religious activity, violates the Bielefeldt provision.

Positive elements:

  • Nil.


  • Complete dismantlement of the present terminally restrictive registration procedure and the body of laws and policies perpetuating the terminal conditions for religious freedom in the country.

  • Establish a reorganised recognition system that extends both existential recognition and legal registration to all belief systems.

RoRB Topic
RoRB Compliance
RoRB Classification
Country or territory
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