The practical and significant contributions by the Vietnam Buddhist Shangha (VBS) demonstrate that Buddhism always attaches belief to life and religion and upholds the patriotic tradition, said National Assembly (NA) Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong.

The sixth National Buddhist Congress of the VBS opened in Hanoi on December 13 with the participation of NA Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Pham The Duyet and 1,400 Buddhist monks and nuns at home and abroad.

After the opening ceremony, delegates heard a report reviewing religious activities during the 2002-2007 period and a programme on the SBV’s activities for the new term (2007-2012).

Over the recent period, Vietnam has made large gains and remarkable progress thanks to the positive contribution of the Buddhist clergy. The SBV is considered to be a reliable home for Buddhists both at home and abroad and its prestige is growing domestically, regionally and internationally.

Along with other religions, Buddhists monks and nuns have engaged in humanitarian activities in support of people living in difficult circumstances.

In his speech, NA Chairman Trong praised the SBV’s practical and effective contributions to national construction and development in recent times and hailed the sixth National Buddhist Congress as a landmark in the SBV’s history of development.

The Vietnamese Party and State’s policies respect the freedom of belief and religion. The success of the national renovation process requires solidarity and unity of the entire Party and people, including religious people as an indispensable part of the nation. With the achievements recorded during the past 25 years under the motto “Dharma- Nation- Socialism”, the SBV will continue to secure its deserved position in the hearts of people and international friends, said Mr Trong.

The NA leader expressed the hope that the success of the sixth National Buddhist Congress will serve as a premise for the SBV to ideally prepare for Vietnam’s hosting of the 2008 United Nations Day Vesak in May next year.

The congress will continue to work on December 14 with the reception of the Independence Order from the State President and certificates of merit from the Prime Minister, the VFF Central Committee and the VBS.

The congress will adopt a revised charter and voted on a list of top Buddhist representatives for ordination.

Source: VOV