State President Vo Van Thuong offered greetings to Buddhist dignitaries and followers on the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, while visiting Hue Nghiem and Minh Dao pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City on May 26.
The anniversary is celebrated by Buddhist monks, nuns, and followers in the fourth lunar month every year to not only pay tribute to Lord Buddha but also honour the fine ethical and cultural values of Buddhism in society.
Talking to Most Venerable Thich Tri Quang, Patriarch of the Patronage Council of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) at Hue Nghiem Pagoda, President Thuong offered greetings to the Patriarch, the VBS, monks, nuns, and followers both at home and abroad.
He said Buddhism is currently one of the important religions in Vietnam and has great influence on the society. It is a patriotic religion that has accompanied the nation throughout the history and made significant contributions to national development and safeguarding.
The State leader hailed the VBS’s unceasing development and activities for the sake of the religion and the society, particularly encouraging monks, nuns, and followers to comply with the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policies and laws, fulfill citizens’ obligations, and engage in poverty reduction and humanitarian campaigns, thus helping enhance the great national solidarity.
He affirmed the Party and State’s consistent policy of respecting and ensuring people’s right to freedom of belief and religion, creating conditions for religious organisations to operate in line with the Constitution and laws, and bringing into play the fine cultural and ethical values of religions to contribute to national development.
Highlighting the significance of the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, Most Venerable Thich Tri Quang expressed his delight that under the Party’s leadership, Vietnam has been developing strongly and enjoying a growing stature in the world, adding that he believes the country will obtain even greater achievements in the coming time to secure prosperity and happiness for all people.
The dignitary also mentioned Vietnam’s successful organisation of celebrations of the UN Day of Vesak, which marks the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha, thrice.
Meeting with Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, President of the VBS’s Executive Council, at Minh Dao Pagoda, State President Thuong voiced his hope that the VBS will uphold traditions of the Vietnamese Buddhism and continue encouraging monks, nuns, and followers to contribute more to national development in the new period.
Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon highly valued assistance from Party and State leaders, along with all-level authorities, for the VBS’s activities. He also called on the State leader to keep supporting and creating favourable conditions for Buddhist followers to practice the religion and help with the national development.