THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
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SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom – Happiness
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No. 21/2004/PL-UBTVQH11
Hanoi, June 18, 2004
 
ORDINANCE
ON BELIEFS AND RELIGIONS
Pursuant to the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which was amended and supplemented under Resolution No. 51/2001/QH10 of December 25, 2001 of the Xth National Assembly, the 10th session;
Pursuant to Resolution No. 21/2003/QH11 of November 26, 2003 of the XIth National Assembly, the 4th session, on the 2004 law- and ordinance-making program;
This Ordinance prescribes belief and religious activities.
Chapter I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1.- Citizens have the right to belief and religious freedom, following or not following any religion
The State guarantees citizens' right to belief and religious freedom. Nobody can infringe upon such freedom right.

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All religions are equal before law.
Citizens, whether they have beliefs, follow religions or not, as well as citizens who have different beliefs or follow different religions must respect one another.
Article 2.- Religious dignitaries, priests, monks and citizens who have beliefs or follow religions enjoy all civic rights and have to perform the civic obligations
Religious dignitaries, priests and monks have to regularly educate followers in patriotism, exercise of the civic rights, performance of the civic obligations and the sense of law observance.
Article 3.- In this Ordinance, the following terms and phrases shall be construed as follows:
1. Belief activities mean activities demonstrating the ancestral worship, commemoration and honoring of the persons with merits to the country and/or communities; worship of deities, saints or traditional idols, and other folk belief activities representing the fine values of history, culture and social ethics.
2. Belief establishments mean places where communal belief activities are carried out, including communal houses, temples, small temples, small pagodas, ancestral worship altars, clan ancestor worship houses and the like.
3. Religious organizations mean groups of believers in the same system of religious tenets, principles and rites, which are organized according to a certain structure recognized by the State.
4. Grassroots religious organizations mean grassroots units of religious organizations, including pagoda protection boards or pagoda management boards of Buddhism, dioceses of Catholicism, chapters of Protestantism, religious clans of Caodaism, commune, ward or district township administration boards of Hoa Hao Buddhism sect, and grassroots units of other religious organizations.
 

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