Ho Chi Minh City leaders on February 9 paid a visit to the southern office of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Central Committee and the municipal Buddhist Sangha on the occasion of the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.

Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Le Thanh Hai offered the best New Year wishes to Buddhist dignitaries, monks, nuns, and followers in the City and across the country.

He hailed Buddhists’ positive contributions to the national socio-economic development in general and accomplishments of HCM City in particular.

He affirmed that the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s contributions to realising social welfare in the country and HCM City were important and expressed hope for it to continue to join hands in taking care of people’s well-being.

Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, Chairman of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Executive Council, thanked the authorities for their attention to religious followers, affirming that the Sangha will stand side by side with the authorities and people to boost the country’s development.

In 2014, the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha raised over 421 billion VND, with over 200 billion VND collected by the municipal Sangha, for charitable activities nationwide.

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