Speaking at a meeting in Hanoi on February 28 to review State management of religion in 2011, including the implementation of a Prime Ministerial directive on Protestantism-related affairs and another on houses and land relating to religion, Deputy PM Phuc said workers in the sector should continue to follow the Government's religion-related land policies to better solve existing problems and avoid ‘hot spots' related to religious issues.
'We do care about the legitimate rights, interests and demands of all religious followers,' he said.
Noting that hostile groups can use distorted arguments against the country, the Deputy PM urged the sector to focus on consultation at all Party levels and dissemination of policies, especially those related to land and housing. He asked the sector to meet and listen to the people's concerns to prevent any possible problems.
'Since the task of religious affairs is very important, the Government wants all relevant agencies to better implement their missions to contribute to the stability and development of the country,' he said.
The Deputy PM also asked his audience to boost foreign activities, international exchanges, human resources training and enhance the position of religion in the country's political system.
Reports from the Government's Committee for Religious Affairs showed that after five years of implementing Directive 01/2005/CT-TTg on Protestantism-related affairs, Protestants, especially those who are ethnic minorities in mountainous regions in the north and Central Highlands, have enjoyed their life and work.
They have been reported to actively participate in social activities, charity works and follow the law. They have also proactively worked with local authorities to fight hostile forces and contribute to maintaining political security in the region.
By 2009, there were 604 Catholic, Protestant and Caodai organisations and sects. Nearly 6,600 religious units were granted with land-use certificates while some Protestant sects in the Central Highlands and Catholic religious units were granted land to build churches or extend their premises to meet the demands of religious followers.