President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc receives Most Venerable Thích Thiện Nhơn, Chair of the Việt Nam Buddhist Sâng's Executive Council on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI — President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Thursday hosted a reception for a delegation from the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) led by Most Venerable Thích Thiện Nhơn, Chairman of its Executive Council.
At the reception, held to mark the Buddha’s 2,565th birthday (May 26 this year), Most Venerable Thích Thiện Nhơn lauded the success of the Government in the 2016-21 tenure.
He said the VBS has grown during its 40-year development, with its Buddhist affairs and activities in building religious solidarity and national unity lauded by people from all walks of life.
It has raised trillions of đồng for the needy while engaging in the movement of planting 1 billion trees as part of efforts to deal with climate change, he said, adding that the organisation has also given a strong response to the call regarding COVID-19 prevention and control.
The Sangha has hosted the UN Day of Vesak three times, said Most Venerable Nhơn, recognising the support from President Phúc for the work. Meanwhile, it has paid special attention to the material and spiritual lives of Buddhist followers abroad, he added.
Leaders of the VBS expressed hope that as a State leader, President Phúc will create optimal conditions for the organisation in its operations.
For his part, President Phúc congratulated the VBS and all Buddhist followers on the occasion of the Buddha’s birthday.
He thanked Most Venerable Thích Thiện Nhơn and other leaders of the VBS for their valuable opinions while hailing the efforts of monks and followers in COVID-19 prevention and control.
Describing Buddhism as a religion accompanying the nation, the State leader said the organisation has taken a pioneering role in patriotic movements and religious solidarity. He also spoke highly of its charity activities.
He said 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.
The important contributions by the VBS have shown not only the close relations between Buddhism and the nation but also the unity between religion and life, between the Sangha and the country, as well as between Việt Nam and the world.
He said 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, he stated, pledging that the State works to ensure 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.
He said he hopes the VBS will 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.
He also reminded ministries, sectors and localities to show strong performance in implementing ethnic and religious policies, while combating the abuse of beliefs and religions which go against the law.
He said he believes that the VBS will successfully hold upcoming important events, including the 40th anniversary of the organisation and the Buddhist congresses at all levels towards the national-level Congress. — VNS