Vietnam passes controversial law on religion
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Faith groups oppose regulations created by a 'dictatorial regime'
Vietnamese Catholics pray at a Marian grotto in Ho Chi Minh City. Catholics and other faith groups in the country are wary over new state regulations — which take effect on Jan. 1, 2018 — that will control religious activities. (ucanews.com photo)
The Vietnam National Assembly has ratified a controversial law on religious activities sparking a strong reaction from religious communities in the communist state.
The Law on Belief and Religion, which was passed by the National Assembly on Nov. 18, is the first ever law on religious activities since the country was reunified in 1975.
The law, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018, regulates legal procedures and conditions regarding people's beliefs. Faith groups will be required to register with authorities and inform them of their activities with authorities having the right to approve or refuse.
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