Buddhist dignitaries, monks and followers across Vietnam in the past few days have received congratulations from officials on the occasion of Buddhism’s important celebration - Lord Buddha’s 2559 th birthday.

In Ho Chi Minh City, municipal leaders visited the southern office of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) Central Committee to offer greetings on the occasion.

Nguyen Thanh Phong, Deputy Secretary of the municipal Party Committee hailed the contribution of the VBS and Buddhist followers to national development and defence.

He also expressed his hopes that the VBS will continue to encourage their followers to uphold solidarity, lead good secular and religious lives and contribute to building a better Vietnam.

On behalf of the Buddhist dignitaries, Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, Chairman of the VBS Executive Council affirmed that the organisation will continue to encourage its followers to make contribution to the country’s socio-economic development and the national great solidarity.

From May 25-29, deputy head of the Steering Committee for the Central Highlands H’Ngam Nie Kdam visited pagodas and executive boards of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS)’s chapters in Dak Lak, Lam Dong, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, and Dak Nong provinces.

During the visits, the official praised contributions by Buddhist monks and followers to promoting local socio-economic development and ensuring security and defence.

Most Venerable Thich Chau Quang, the head of the Dak Lak VBS chapter’s executive board, thanked the Party and State for creating favourable conditions for local Buddhists to practice their religion, enhance their livelihood and join humanitarian activities.

Provincial officials of central Phu Yen and Ninh Thuan provinces, and Can Tho city and An Giang province in the Mekong Delta have also congratulated local Buddhists on the Lord Buddha’s 2559 th birthday.

They pledged optimal conditions for religious activities and called on the followers to further engage in socio-economic activities and consolidate the national solidarity.

Buddhism constitutes the largest religious community in Vietnam with over 12 million followers, 40,000 monks and nuns, and almost 15,000 temples, monasteries and other places of worship.-VNA