More than 100 dignitaries and followers of “ Tu An Hieu Nghia ” (Four debts of gratitude) sect convened their second Congress for the 2015-2020 tenure in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang on July 24.

As a locally-originated religion, Tu An Hieu Nghia was founded in 1867 by Ngo Tu Loi in the Bay Nui region of An Giang province. The religion has so far attracted tens of thousands of followers, not only in An Giang but also from neighbouring localities, grouping followers into 24 units called “ ganh ”.

During the 2010-2015 tenure, its followers set up a charity board, raising about 3 billion VND to build houses, bridges and roads in poor areas.

From 2015-2020, they set the goal of continuing to contribute to the new rural development cause, do charity for the sake of the community and abide by the Party policies and State laws as well as teachings of its founder.

Addressing the Congress, deputy head of the Government’s Committee for Religious Affairs Tran Khanh Hung called on dignitaries and followers to stick to its tenets and contribute more to the homeland.

The congress, on the occasion, elected a 22-strong representative board led by Nguyen Huu Nghi to take charge of its 2015-2020 activities.

Tu An Hieu Nghia’s tenets are the combination of the principles of three religions – Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. The followers live and practise under the principle of learning from Buddhist to cultivate virtue and morals and paying four debts of gratitude, to one’s parents, country, three refuges - Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – and fellow citizens and all mankind.

During its inception, most of the followers were patriotic feudal intellectuals during the past resistance against the French colonialists.

Since being officially recognised by the State in 2010, the religion and its authorities have strengthened its system and helped the Party and State improve social welfare for followers and people living in the region.-VNA