|President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc meets Buddhist followers at the 9th National Buddhist Congress on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất|
HÀ NỘI — President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Monday attended the 9th National Buddhist Congress in the capital city, expressing his wish that the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha will continue their traditions and contribute to Việt Nam’s growth and unity.
Under the theme of "Discipline - Responsibility - Solidarity - Development", the congress is a major event of the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha (VBS) with nearly 1,100 delegates.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Phúc recognised the important achievements and contributions of the Buddhist organisation in the 2017-22 term.
He said that the Party and Government have consistently implemented policies that respect and guarantee freedom of religion and belief.
The regulations also ensure equality between religions, and that religious activities are conducted in accordance with the laws and religious charters recognised by the State.
This helps to preserve and promote good cultural and moral values, and religious resources for the country’s development, creating favourable conditions for religious people to follow spiritual practices while fulfilling their responsibility as a citizen.
President Phúc said that Buddhist organisations and its members have actively participated in activities initiated by authorities and the Fatherland Front, which made great contributions to poverty reduction, building new rural areas and cultural neighbourhoods, disease control, environmental protection and climate change responses.
They have given over VNĐ7 trillion (US$282 million) to disadvantaged people and those who are affected by natural disasters and diseases.
Responding to the Government’s call to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, VBS strictly complied with preventive and control measures during their religious activities.
Meanwhile, thousands of Buddhist followers volunteered to work on the frontline, and contributed to the vaccine fund and medical equipment procurement, among other support.
The President said: “The noble and compassionate actions of the VBS and Buddhist followers have touched the hearts of millions of Vietnamese people as they have actively joined hands with all levels of government in pandemic prevention and control.”
The country leader hoped that with the Buddhist principles and purposes and the direction of “Dharma – Nation – Socialism”, the VBS will continue uniting Vietnamese Buddhists in the country and abroad to continue their traditions and contribute to Việt Nam’s growth and solidarity.
President Phúc also asked ministries, departments, and the Fatherland Front to well-implement national laws and Party guidelines on religion, creating favourable conditions for religions to operate in compliance with the laws, and forming a stable and healthy environment for religious activities across the country.
The president and officials also awarded the Labour Orders and the Great National Unity Orders, as well as other recognitions, for VBS members who made significant contributions to national development, unity and law compliance.
At the ceremony, Most Venerable Thích Thiện Nhơn, chairman of VBS Executive Council, said that following the traditions of patriotism and national unity of the Sangha, its members continue to highlight unity, harmony, religious practices and dignity in the common course of the people’s prosperity.
The VBS also accompanies Việt Nam on the path to the 100th founding anniversary of the country in 2045, striving to build a developed, strong and prosperous Việt Nam.
According to the congress organising committee, the key activities of this event are to amend its charter, upholding disciplines and the values of Buddhism in modern society. — VNS