On behalf of the Party and the State, President Tran Dai Quang extended greetings to Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue and all Buddhist dignitaries, monks and nuns and followers in the country.
The President spoke highly of the practical and significant contributions the VBS and all monks, nuns and followers have made to the nation’s great unity and national defence and development over the past years.
He stressed that Buddhism has established a firm position in the country’s history since it was first introduced to Vietnam nearly 2,000 years ago, thanks to its spirit of “safeguarding the country, bringing peace to the people”.
Building on its tradition, the VBS has encouraged monks, nuns and followers across the nation to lead an upright religious life, observe the Party’s policies and the State’s laws, and actively participate in patriotic emulation campaigns and charity activities, he said.
The President affirmed that the Party and the State have continuously respected and protected the freedom of religion and belief of all people, and facilitated religious practice of religious people and dignitaries, including Buddhists.
He noted that the 8th National Buddhist Congress for the 2017-2022 will take place this year, when the VBS will review their work and set orientations for the coming time as well as elect the Patronage Council and the Executive Council for the new tenure.
In this spirit, President Quang expressed his hope that Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue will continue leading the VBS under the motto of “Religion – Nation – Socialism” while actively contributing to the nation building and development.
Vietnam is now home to more than 12 million Buddhist followers and 50,000 Buddhist monks and nuns, who are practicing the religion in over 17,000 Buddhist places of worship.
Buddhism is the oldest religion, and has the largest number of followers in Vietnam.