|The “40 years of the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha: Integration and Development with the Country” workshop is being held virtually on Thursday. Photo courtesy of the VBS|
HCM CITY — The Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) will continue to promote its role and prestige in strengthening national unity and solidarity among religions, optimising the strengths of beliefs and religions as well as culture for national development, speakers said yesterday at a workshop in the city.
Speaking at the workshop titled “40 years of the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha: Integration and Development with the Country,” Most Venerable Thích Giác Toàn, vice chairman of the VBS Executive Council, said that VBS has developed significantly during the past 40 years with its missions of building religious solidarity and national unity lauded by people from all walks of life.
The major contributions by the organisation have reflected the close relations between Buddhism and the nation and the unity between religion and life, between the Sangha and the country, and between Việt Nam and the world, said Most Venerable Thích Giác Toàn, who is also head of the Việt Nam Buddhist Research Institute.
“The foundation aims to meet Vietnamese Buddhists’ wish to unify different schools and traditions.”
Over the years of development, the Sangha has guided monks, nuns and Buddhists to practise Buddhist teachings, uphold patriotism and national unity.
“As the successor of thousands of years of Vietnamese Buddhism, the Sangha has contributed to building a Vietnamese culture imbued with national tradition by upholding national solidarity, safeguarding fine cultural values and rejecting superstition.”
The workshop also stressed the roles of Vietnamese people of all regions in preserving and promoting Vietnamese values, cultural identity, traditional ethics and social security.
The workshop is organised by the Standing Committee of VBS in cooperation with the Việt Nam Buddhist Research Institute and Việt Nam Buddhist Academy in HCM City.
It attracted more than 250 papers of Buddhist studies and researchers from 45 universities, research institutes and institutions across the country.
The workshop includes six forums discussing various topics related to the organisation’s development over the past four decades.
The workshop was organised under the framework of activities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha (November 7, 1981 - November 7, 2021) to be held online in Hà Nội on November 7.
The VBS has nearly 55,000 monks and nuns, 18,000 places of worship and 50 million adherents and supporters.
The VBS has hosted the UN Day of Vesak three times.
Buddhism is a religion accompanying the nation. The achievements of Vietnamese Buddhism have proved that the right to freedom of belief and religion of Vietnamese people have been protected by the Constitution and law.
Việt Nam is home to diverse religions with more than 90 per cent of the population following a belief or religion and 24 million religious followers, accounting for 27 per cent of the country’s population.
The consistent policy of the Party and State in this field is respecting and observing the right to freedom of belief and religion of the people.
The Vietnamese government ensures all religious practices take place in line with the law and regulations recognised by the State while creating conditions for religious followers and dignitaries to perform their duties as a citizen. — VNS