The Hoa Hao Buddhist Sangha celebrated the 72 nd founding anniversary at its Holy Land in the southern province of An Giang on June 19, calling on over 2 million followers to practise their beliefs in line with the law.

The celebration was attended by high-profile politicians and military officers, including Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Ha Van Nui, Deputy Head of the Southwestern Region Steering Board Huynh Minh Doan, and representatives from the Political General Department under the Ministry of Defence, along with over 200,000 Hoa Hao Buddhists and followers of other religions.

Tran Thanh Toc, Vice Chairman of An Giang province’s Fatherland Front, reiterated the Government’s unswerving policy for freedom of religion and worship.

“The Hoa Hao Buddhist Sangha should further strengthen the religious unity, uphold the ethics of religion, lead followers to abide by the Party and State policy and speed up the charity movement as Hoa Hao Buddhism is part of the national unity,” emphasised the senior social activist.

A report released by the sectarian executive council highlighted the religious founder’s teachings that called for harmony of religious practice with the national interest, at which the council emphasised that followers have made it in the recent past.

Hoa Hao Buddhists expressed happiness at the Government’s recognition of the religion’s status by contributing more and more to the charity movement.

It was reported that the Sangha has raised over 115 billion VND for the construction of key-turn homes for the poor and disadvantaged people, building and rebuilding bridges, upgrading roads, free surgery of cataracts for the poor, providing scholarships and teaching aid for poor, gifted pupils and free services for poor patients.

Since its foundation at the Hoa Hao village, which is now turned into the religion’s Holly Land, in An Giang province, the Hoa Hao Buddhism now has over 2 million followers in 17 cities and provinces, mostly in central-southern and southern parts of the country. In its Holy Land in An Giang province alone, the membership surpasses 800,000, who scatter every corner of the province. The province is also home to more than one third of the religion’s 358 executive boards./.