Monday, December 17, 2018, 15:23 (GMT+7)
Why do the hostile forces exploit religions to sabotage our revolution?

Recently, there have appeared some so-called “religious” organizations with their principles and purposes contrary to the Party and State directions aiming at sabotaging our national revolution. Why do they exploit religions to eradicate the leadership of the Communist Party and the socialist regime in Vietnam?

Vietnam is considered as a multi-religious country1. Over the past few years, along with socio-economic development and the improvement of people’s material and spiritual life, our Party and State have undertaken many religious policies, which are widely acknowledged by the religious followers inside and outside the country2. During the course of national leadership and management, the Party and State have carried out the work of propagation and education to raise the people’s awareness about the policies on freedom of beliefs, religions, while creating favorable conditions for their equality within the legal framework. In the past 15 years, the country has licensed and upgraded 7,916 worship facilities, etc. At the same time, importance has been attached to consolidating the solidarity between unbelievers and believers for the overall socio-economic development, bringing into full play the strength of the great national unity in the cause of building and defending the Fatherland.

However, hostile forces have not only denied our achievements but also exploited religions as an offensive weapon against our revolutionary cause throughout blatantly and secretly sophisticated cunning practices. Why do they abuse religions to sabotage us? The fundamental reason lies in the hostile forces’ conspiracy to overthrow the political system of progressive countries that do not follow their orbit, first and foremost the socialist states by "peaceful evolution" strategy, riots and conversions. Their methods are to mobilize forces in the name of religions to set up opposite political organizations against the Communist Party of Vietnam, to undermine our great national unity, to separate religions and keep them from the State management and then internationalize this affair for easy interference in our internal affairs.

Reality shows that the hostile forces’ use of religions against our revolution is due to the following characteristics which can be exploited.

First of all, the opposition of viewpoints between religions and the dialectical materialism is the basis for their exploitation, deepening the contradiction between the socialist regime and religions. According to Marxism-Leninism, religious ideology is "out of the mainstream"; "all religions are merely false reflections into human minds, of the outside forces that rule their daily lives. It is just a reflection in which humans have taken the form of super-humans." Their idealistic, mystical nature is as opposed to science and the dialectical material Marxist-Leninist ideology.

Taking advantage of this opposition, hostile forces propagate the false psychology that socialism does not accept religions and eradicate them, thereby creating antagonism between them and the socialist reality to provoke religions against the Party, the State and the revolutionary cause. At the same time, they set up "the interreligious Committee for religious freedom" and "the interreligious anti-communist organization". In one-sided view, there exists contrast between the religious ideology and the Party’s revolutionary one. It does not mean to eliminate religions, but requires a more comprehensive, historical and specific view. In transitional period to socialism, religions are necessary to accompany the nation. During the revolutionary leadership, President Ho Chi Minh and our Party have never held the idea of abolishing, stigmatizing or persecuting religions but have consistently perceived that they are spiritual needs of a group of people, which have been existing along with the process of building socialism in our country. Religion followers are part of the great national unity. Therefore, it is extremely important to thoroughly grasp and resolutely fight against wrong and hostile allegations, especially the slanderous ones about the Party and State religious discrimination.

Secondly, abuse religious beliefs and cohesion in order to invoke and gather forces against our revolution. Targets can only be gained with doers. Thus, religions are used as the means of exploiting and mobilizing anti-revolutionary forces, separating religions, religious followers from non-religious followers in order to sabotage the great national unity. Religion developments are always associated with cognitive, socio-economic and psychological backgrounds. Like many other countries, religions in Vietnam are based on the factors of spirituality, limited human perception of the world, their fear and powerlessness for mysterious nature, the despair of diseases, life and economic difficulties, etc. Exploiting these issues, the hostile forces set up the so-called "religions" to meet the spiritual needs of a group of people, and to compensate for their minds and souls, etc. Then, with faith in religions, followers are bound by religious doctrines and laws to form a close bond among them. This relationship creates a group’s great power and differs from others in their beliefs, which leads to conflict in the community, between the religious and the non-religious. More seriously, these groups become seduced, extreme; they disobey the Party's religious policies, the State laws, and unconditionally follow the plots of hostile forces.

Thirdly, make full use of the shortcomings of the authorities at all levels in managing and organizing religious policies in order to provoke people to destabilize the political security, social order and safety in the localities. In the transition to socialism, there are still remnants of the old regime. During the process of national renovation, besides considerable achievements, unavoidable limitations, deficiencies in social management still remain, especially at the grassroots level. This creates favourable conditions for the hostile forces to sabotage the renovation of the country. Typical are the cases of Formosa Company (Ha Tinh province), land clearance and compensation at 42 Nha Chung, Thai Ha Church, illegal parish church in Dong Chiem (Hanoi), Dong Hoi (Quang Binh), clearance of Lien Tri Pagoda (Ho Chi Minh City) and recent complicated cases in Vinh, Kon Tum dioceses, etc.

With the support of hostile forces inside and outside the country, some priests and religious dignitaries took advantage of their followers’ beliefs to propagate, distort information about the Party, regime and government. They use social network to provoke the parishioners to block roads, stage protests, destroy property and attack the functional forces. These actions may be deemed spontaneous, actually behind them are conspiracies to intervene in the issues of democracy, human rights, etc. Therefore, the solutions should be flexible but consistent with the law and religious characteristics, teachings, avoiding being trapped into the enemy’s plots.

Fourthly, make religions widespread and divide the great national unity based on geographical characteristics and economic, cultural and social difficulties in ethnic minority and religious areas. Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country, but with uneven economic, cultural and social development. The differences in living standards and social activities between urban and rural areas, lowland and mountainous areas, religious and non-religious areas remain. Some ethnic minorities are in remote mountainous areas of strategic locations, but their socio-economic conditions are in extreme difficulty. This is a "fertile land" for the opposition to develop religions. According to statistics, there have been 80 "new religions", new religious phenomena, strange religions and heresies of different sources such as Ha Mon, Pokhap Brau, Duong Van Minh, "Ho Chi Minh Spirituality", Long Hoa Di Lac, World Mission Society Church of God, etc. in our country since 1980. These so-called "religions" are created on the basis of traditional beliefs and religions out of their influence to mobilize the masses against the revolution, disturbing social order and security such as "Vang Chu heresy", "World Mission Society Church of God" and "Falun Gong." More dangerously, they also set up some types of religions alone for ethnic minorities including "Montagnard Dega Protestant" in Central Highlands, specific Buddhism of the Khmer, etc. to gather the masses, provoke protests and riots, forming a counterbalance to the government, causing ethnic and religious conflicts in the strategic areas of the North West, the Central Highlands, the Southwest and breaking the national unity.

Fully aware of the above-mentioned plots of abusing religions to sabotage our revolution, in the coming time, the following points need to be centered on. (1) Promote education and propaganda to raise awareness for all classes of the Party viewpoints, guidelines as well as State policies and laws on religions, especially the Law on beliefs and religions. (2) Strengthen the Party leadership and the State management of religious affairs. (3) Attach importance to economic, cultural and social development associated with national defence and security enhancement; build grassroots political systems in ethnic minority and religious areas strongly in all aspects; take care of the parishers’ material and spiritual life. (4) Actively identify and defeat the hostile forces’ conspiracies to abuse religions against our revolution.

These characteristics form the basis for realizing the hostile forces’ plots to exploit religions against our country's revolution; shaping and bringing into full play the overall strength of the great national unity,  as well as the solidarity between religion and non-religion in the cause of building and defending the Fatherland.

Associate Professor Bui Manh Hung, PhD; Bui Xuan Quynh, PhD, Political Academy, the Ministry of National Defence

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1- Buddhism, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Mormonism, Caodaism, Brahmanism, Buu Son Ki Huong, etc.

2- The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) admitted in the Report of Beliefs and Religious Freedom in the Asian area in 2017 that Vietnam is a country of beliefs and religious freedom.

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