The international activities of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha


Buddhism has been in Vietnam for 2000 years. It has become religion of Vietnamese nation. Buddhism has played an important in spiritual, cultural and social life of Vietnamese people. Buddhism has taken part in the process of founding and defending our country. Buddhism has always gone together with nation and experienced ups and down of history.

Immediately after being established, The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha paid attention to international integration and activities and promoted its tradition “go together with nation”. During 30 years of growth and development, the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha always affirms that it is spiritual support of Buddhist dignitaries and believers at home and abroad   and  it has a role in Buddhist community in the world. The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha actively and initiatively takes part in international activities for friendship, solidarity with other nations in the world and communal interests.

The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha is member of the World Fellowship of Buddhists. This organization was founded in 1950 in Colombo, Srilanka. The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has actively enlarged its relation and exchanged experience with dignitaries, believers of Buddhist organizations in many countries including countries in ASEAN, Asia, Europe and America. The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has received many delegations of International Buddhist organizations such as Cambodia Buddhist Sangha, Buddhist Association of China, Buddhist Alliance of Laos, the delegation of the world Buddhist Summit and delegations of Buddhist organizations in Japan, Myanmar, Thailand. The  Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has also received delegation of Cambodian government; delegation of central Committee of Lao front, delegation of the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, the representatives of Human rights commission of USA, the representatives of embassies and international organizations in Hanoi as well as representatives of Vietnamese Buddhist dignitaries, monks and believers. The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has taken part in international Conferences and Buddhist festivals in other countries including Thailand, China, Mongolia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Japan, France, Canada, Netherlands, America, Korea with subjects on culture, morality, Buddhist education, environment, nuclear weapon… the delegation of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha took part in the conference of the International Buddhist Confederation in India in November, 2011 and the 2600th anniversary of Buddha’s enlightenment in Bodgaya, India and Srilanka.
In resent years, the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has paid attention to training human resource and sent many monks and nuns to learn in other countries such as Indian, China, Taiwan, Myanmar, Japan, America, Srilanka, Thailand…Many monks and nuns receive PhD and Ma. Degrees and they return county to undertake Buddhist affairs. In 1999 United Nations decided Vesak (the most sacred holy day of Buddhism, it is an observation of the birth , enlightenment and death of Buddha.)  to be festival for peace or the great Buddhist festival of United Nations. The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha appointed its members to take part in United Nations Day of Vesak International Organization Committee (IOC). The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has become an active member of International Organization Committee (IOC). It takes full responsibility for organization and context of speeches of seminars which are held in Thailand and in headquarter of UN in New York. The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha organized Vesak in 2008 with the approve of Vietnamese Government. The UN day of Vesak was held in   My Dinh Vietnam National Convention Center from May 14- 16 with 5000 representatives at home and abroad. This festival was the prestigious Buddhist festival in the world. It showed ability of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in international integration.
From October 28th, 2009 to January 3rd, 2010, the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, organized the 11th Sakyadhita International Conference on Buddhist Woman in Pho Quang temple in Ho Chi Minh city. This conference was successful. Many Buddhist delegations of many countries participated this conference.
The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha is active member of the World Conference on Peace and Religion, Conference of European – Asian dialogue on religion which was held in America, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Netherlands, Australia and Spain… The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha sent young monks to take part in international training courses in Indonesian religious dialogue to strengthen understanding and mutual respect of religions so that political situation, social security as well as peace in the world are consolidated more and more.
The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha is interested in the spiritual and cultural life of Vietnamese people who are studying and living in foreign countries. The Central Department of International Buddhist Affairs of the The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has sent many delegations to visit and propagandize Buddhist law to people in foreign countries. Some associations of Vietnam Buddhist believers are organized in other countries such as Russian federation, Ukraine, the Czech Republic. Hungary, Poland, Germany. Vietnamese people in these countries still preserve patriotic tradition. They are always directed toward their fatherland. They introduce Vietnamese cultural and belief tradition as well as religious policy of Vietnam to friends in the world.
The achievements of international integration and activities of The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha confirm its growth and development. These achievements also show the right foreign policy of the Party and State of Vietnam: Vietnam is ready to be friend and trusted partner of all nations and responsible member of international community. The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha will hold the 7th National Buddhist Congress (2012- 2017) in Hanoi. In this congress, The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha will summarize what The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has done and propose the tasks in the future including international activities. For international activities, The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha will have creative and active orientations and determine its role and task in international Buddhist affairs. The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha will take interest in human life and help foreign friends to find that the Party and State of Vietnam respect and guarantees the right of freedom of religion and belief of Vietnamese people.
Bach Thien