THE PRIME MINISTER
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Hanoi, December 31, 2008
ON RELIGION-RELATED HOUSING AND LAND
In implementing the Party's guidelines and policies and the State's laws on religion, ministries, branches and localities have over the past time made numerous efforts in religion work and attained certain achievements. Religious activities generally comply with law and most followers of religions have been pleased and happy with and trusting in the Party's and State's guidelines and policies and made active contributions to the national construction. The needs of followers of religions for religious practices, including housing and land use, have increased together with the national development. Given historical backgrounds, the country's management and use of housing and land in general, and those related to religion in particular, needs to be adjusted.
To ensure unified, lawful and practical management and use of religion-related housing and land, contributing to national construction and development and strengthening the national great unity, the Prime Minister instructs ministries, branches and People's Committees of provinces and centrally run cities to redress the management and use of religion-related housing and land; review master plans on land management and use; and timely settle matters concerning religion-related housing and land, ensuring harmony between religious and national interests.
The management and use of religion-related housing and land must comply with policies and laws and the following principles and contents:
1. Belief and religion are spiritual needs of a segment of the population, which are existing and will exist throughout the process of building socialism in the country. Followers of religions are part of the national great unity. The Party and State respect and ensure religious institutions' and followers' rights to lawful religious practices and their legitimate demand for housing and land for religious purposes.
2. On the basis of state policies on religion, land use master plans and plans and local land funds. People's Committees of provinces and centrally run cities shall consider allotting housing or land according to the prescribed order and procedures to religious institutions that need housing or land for proper religious activities.
3. Religion-related housing and land, which were managed and allotted by the State in the implementation of policies on housing and land management and socialist reform related to housing and land promulgated prior to July 1, 1991, shall be managed and used in accordance with the National Assembly's Resolution No.23/2003/QH11 of November 26, 2003, and relevant legal documents. Attention should be given to the following cases:
a/ An agency or organization that is assigned by the State to use and manage religion-related housing or land shall use such housing or land properly and efficiently without hurting the beliefs of followers of religions. When it fails to do so, the People's Committee of a province or centrally run city shall recover that housing or land for national or public use; when a religious institution needs to use that housing or land for proper religious purposes, the People's Committee of a province or centrally run city may, on a case-by-case basis, consider allotting that housing or land with an appropriate area to such institution or facilitate it in building a new institution under law;
b/ Land used by religious institutions for agricultural or forestry production or non-agricultural production or business to serve their charity activities and land used by religious institutions under Clause 1, Article 99 of the Land Law (including transfers and donations prior to July 1,2004) which is certified by commune-level People's Committees to be dispute-free may be granted land use right certificates, used under the regime for household and individual users corresponding with the use purpose for that land category, and have its use purpose changed under decisions of provincial-level People's Committees; land used by religious institutions for agricultural or forestry production or non-agricultural production or business to serve their charity activities, which is not the one allotted by the State and not liable to land use levy, may be transferred, donated or have its use rights leased or mortgaged under the land law.
When a religious institution is transferred or donated rights to use land involved in a dispute, such dispute must be completely settled under law before the institution may be issued a land use right certificate;
c/ When a decision on settlement of a case involving religion-related land is issued, a competent state agency shall notify the religious institution and its followers thereof for compliance.
Taking advantage of the settlement of religion-related housing and land to cause social disorder, undermine the national great unity and community solidarity, or violate the law shall be strictly handled according to law.
4. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Construction, concerned ministries and branches and People's Committees of provinces and centrally run cities shall, within the ambit of their functions, tasks and powers, redress the management and use of religion-related housing and land; consider and settle each specific case based on religion and land policies, the land fund of each locality and religious institutions' demand; and direct professional agencies in speeding up the grant of land use right certificates to eligible religious institutions under the land law.
5. Ministries, branches and People's Committees of provinces and centrally run cities shall coordinate with the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee and its member organizations in studying, propagating and implementing the Party's guidelines and policies and the State's laws on belief, religion and housing and land and other relevant regulations.
6. Ministers, heads of ministerial-level agencies, heads of government-attached agencies and presidents of People's Committees of provinces and contrally run cities shall work out plans to implement this Directive and annually report thereon to the Prime Minister.
Any problems arising in the implementation of this Directive should be reported to the Prime Minister for consideration and decision.
7. The Government Committee for Religious Affairs shall coordinate with concerned agencies in monitoring and urging the implementation of this Directive.
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