|President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc visited Minh Đạo pagoda in HCM City on Saturday to offer greetings to Buddhist community and dignitaries on the occasion of the Buddha's birthday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất|
HCM CITY — President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc visited Huệ Nghiêm and Minh Đạo pagodas in HCM City on Saturday on the occasion of Buddha’s 2,566th birthday, extending his greetings to local Buddhist dignitaries and followers.
President Phúc affirmed that since Buddhism was introduced into Việt Nam, Buddha's birthday had been not just a sacred holiday for Buddhists nationwide, and but also a popular spiritual and cultural festival in Vietnamese society, bringing a message of love, solidarity, harmony and development.
"The consistent policy of the Party and State regarding religions is to respect and ensure people's right to freedom of belief and religion, and create favourable conditions for dignitaries and followers of religions to perform their spiritual practice and fulfil their duties to the nation," he said.
The State leader also expressed his hope that the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) would continue to demonstrate its role and prestige in building the great national unity and the solidarity among religions; promote the power of religions, beliefs and culture; and affirm and spread the preeminent values of a peaceful religion, thus contributing to further developing the country.
Most Venerable Thích Trí Quảng, Acting Supreme Patriarch of the Patronage Council of the VBS and head of Huệ Minh pagoda, and Most Venerable Thích Thiện Nhơn, Chairman of the VBS's Executive Council and head of Minh Đạo pagoda, expressed their gratitude for the attention paid by the State leader and all-level authorities.
They said they hope the President would continue caring for and creating favourable conditions for the Buddhist community in Buddhist activities and joining hands in building a more prosperous Việt Nam.
Also on the day, President of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee Đỗ Văn Chiến visited the office of the VBS at Quảng Đức Zen Monastery in District 3 and the Việt Nam Pure Land Buddhist Association at Hưng Minh Tự pagoda in District 6 of HCM City. — VNS