RELIGION

Vietnam criticizes US religious freedom report

Vietnam has criticized the U.S. State Department's annual international religious freedom report, describing it as containing partial and false information about Vietnam.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang told reporters that the government respects and ensures citizens' right to freedom of religion and belief.

The State Department's report, which covers religious freedom around the world, said this week that the Vietnamese Communist government continued to limit activities of unrecognized religious groups and that religious leaders, particularly those of unregistered groups and those from ethnic minorities, reported various forms of governmental harassment, including physical assaults, short-term detention, prosecutions and restrictions on travel.

Hang noted that the report did make some adjustments that are "close to reality" in Vietnam.