Grand ceremony marks 35th anniversary of Vietnam Buddhist Sangha

Monday, 2016-11-07 17:26:31
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Deputy PM Dam awards the Labour Order, First Class, to the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha.
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NDO—The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) held a ceremony on November 7 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of its founding, which brought a variety of Buddhist schools and sects together into a single organisation.

At the ceremony, Most Venerable Thich Tri Quang recited a message by VBS Supreme Patriarch Thich Pho Tue calling on Vietnamese Buddhists both at home and abroad to uphold their 2,000-year tradition and contribute to nation-building in the spirit of worldly engagement.

Through his message, the supreme leader of Vietnamese Buddhism also called on priests and laypeople to strengthen their unity and cultivate their minds to preserve Buddhism’s humane values and its identity in the modern age.

The sangha currently has jurisdiction over 49,500 monks and nuns and 17,376 temples and monasteries throughout the country.

Over the past 35 years, the sangha has sent 476 Buddhist monks and nuns to study abroad and 115 have graduated and returned home with Master’s and doctorate degrees.

The VBS has also actively taken part in social and charitable work with timely and continuous support for orphans, senior citizens, people with disabilities, those in disaster-stricken areas and others on welfare.

It is estimated that monks and nuns have contributed VND7 trillion (US$315 million) to charitable work over the past 35 years.

In his address at the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam emphasised that during its 2,000-year history in Vietnam, Buddhism had fused itself into the local way of life and become an indispensable spiritual need for the majority of Vietnamese people and an important element of Vietnamese culture.

Since its formation 35 years ago, the VBS has contributed to enhancing Vietnam’s position in the world with the successful organisation of the UN Day of Vesak and the ASEAN Buddhist Conference, in addition to helping with socioeconomic development and preserving cultural heritage.

The deputy PM expressed his belief that in the spirit of compassion and wisdom, Vietnam’s Buddhism would continue to foster its important role in uniting everyone to build a peaceful country.

To mark the anniversary, Deputy PM Dam awarded the Labour Order, First Class, to the VBS for its exceptional contributions to the national construction and defence.

The VBS also donated VND500 million (US$22,500) to the Learning Encouragement Fund. Former President Nguyen Thi Doan, chair of the fund, accepted the gift on its behalf.