Updated: November 09, 2021 08:25 AM GMT
Buddhist monks attend the online ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in Ho Chi Minh City on Nov. 7. (Photo supplied)
The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) celebrated its 40th anniversary with leaders pledging to advance Vietnamese culture imbued with national unity and socialism.
The country’s largest Buddhist organization held the celebrations at the headquarters of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, an umbrella group of the communist government, in Hanoi on Nov. 7.
The virtual celebration themed “40 years of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha: Integration and development with the country” was aired on social media due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We are proud that Vietnamese Buddhism has never had a future like today in the country and in the world," Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, head of the VBS executive council, said on the occasion.
He said the event marked the organization’s historical development with the spirit of entering the world according to the motto "Dharma, nation, socialism," which has always been the red thread throughout the 40-year journey of local Buddhists.
He further said the only Buddhist group approved by the communist government represents nearly 55,000 monks and nuns, 18,000 pagodas and worship places, and tens of millions of followers and supporters at home and abroad.
They must enhance the spirit of patriotism, national unity, take part in government-run activities, work for the benefits of the people and the religion, and protect socialism
The executive council with 270 members administers the VBS committees, central institutes and Buddhist affairs in all 63 cities and provinces of the country.
Buddhists recorded many important achievements in the cause of promoting the dharma, serving humanity, living a good life, and making contributions to building and firmly defending the socialist Vietnamese fatherland, the VBS chief said.
The executive council called on local Buddhists and sects to work for unity and solidarity, to uphold disciplines and precepts so as to develop Buddhism in the heart of the nation and integrate into the international community.
They must enhance the spirit of patriotism, national unity, take part in government-run activities, work for the benefits of the people and the religion, and protect socialism.
Founded on Nov. 7, 1981, at Quan Su Pagoda in Hanoi, the VBS unified nine Buddhist sects that supported the communist government in the country. Many Buddhist leaders are party members and work for the Fatherland Front.
The group established 10 Buddhist associations abroad and provides guidelines to Vietnamese monks, nuns and followers in 35 countries and territories around the world.
The Southeast Asian country is home to various religions with over 90 percent of its population following some sort of a belief or religion, according to government statistics.
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