The 9th National Buddhist Congress opens in Hanoi on November 28. (Photo: VNA)
The congress, held in accordance with the Charter of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS), brought together 1,091 delegates, including Buddhist dignitaries, monks, nuns and followers.
In his opening remarks, Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, Chairman of the VBS's Executive Council, reviewed the work of the Sangha in the 2017-2022 term and called on its monks, nuns and followers to carry forward the spirit of solidarity and harmony to better take care of people’s well-being and happiness.
The Sangha will continue to accompany the nation towards the 100th founding anniversary in 2045, thus building a Vietnam of development, power and prosperity, he pledged.
Addressing the event, President Phuc lauded the VBS and its members for their engagement in patriotic emulation movements launched by all-level authorities, the Vietnam Fatherland Front and mass organisations in the fields of poverty reduction, new rural area building, environmental protection, climate change response, disease prevention and control, and the fight against negative phenomena.
They have played an active role in health care, education, humanitarian aid and social welfare, he continued, noting that they have raised VND7 trillion (US$282.25 million) in support of the poor, people with disabilities, those in difficult circumstances, orphans, homeless seniors and people affected by natural disasters and epidemics.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the event. (Photo: VNA)
The leader also praised their participation in the Covid-19 fight, saying thousands of monks, nuns and followers voluntarily worked in the forefront of the combat, raising funds for the purchase of vaccines and medical equipment, and presenting tens of millions of gift packages and meals to needy persons.
He affirmed that the Party and the State persistently pursue the policy of respecting and guaranteeing the right to freedom of belief and religion, and non-belief and non-religion, as well as equality between religions, ensuring that the practice of religions is conducted in line with laws, charters and regulations recognized by the State.
He asked the VBS to uphold good values of Buddhism and consolidate its position as the only Buddhist organisation in Vietnam for monks, nuns and followers both at home and abroad.
The President also urged ministries, agencies, all-level Party Committees and authorities and the Vietnam Fatherland Front to further facilitate the practice of religions in general and Buddhism in particular in accordance with law.
Themed “Discipline - Responsibility - Solidarity - Development”, the congress will review Buddhist activities over the past five years and sketch out tasks for the VBS in the next five years.
One of the important contents of the congress is adjusting the VBS Charter.
Participants will discuss the implementation of 12 targets and programmes, focusing on tightening the Sangha's rules in line with the implementation of responsibilities of Buddhist dignitaries and followers.