On June 17, 2014, in the context of China’s infringement on Vietnam’s sovereignty over its seas and islands, the Management Council of Cao Dai Organizations and Churches (consisting of leading dignitaries from 9 Cao Dai Organizations, 01 Cao Dai Practicing Sect and 8 separate Cao Dai Churches) held a meeting in Ben Tre province and issued a message expressing their national spirit regarding China’s illegally placing of oil rig HD 981 and escorting ships deep into Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
The message stated that dignitaries and followers of Cao Dai religion always regard the home country as sacred, so they considered China’s illegal and intimidating acts in the East Sea as unacceptable and called upon people and religions in China to raise their voice of ethics, request China to stop encroachment on Vietnam’s sovereignty over its seas and islands, and immediately withdraw its oil rig HD 981 and escorting vessels from Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.
The message wrote: “With the nation-loving spirit of Vietnamese people and Cao Dai followers, we, dignitaries of Cao Dai Churches and Organizations representing more than two millions followers, strongly oppose to China’s encroachment upon Vietnam’s national sovereignty and inhumane acts against Vietnamese fishermen; request China to respect Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islands, and Vietnam’s sovereignty and jurisdiction rights on Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf…”
The message also cited the appeal by forefather Cao Trieu Phat when the home country was invaded, which said: “There are many religious altars, there is only one national altar, saving the home country is of first religious practicing duties and the highest deed of Cao Dai followers”.
The message by dignitaries of Cao Dai Churches and Organizations expressed support to the settlement of disputes in the East Sea through dialogue and respect of the international laws.
To show the national spirit in practical ways, the message called upon dignitaries and followers of Cao Dai to work hard in their livelihoods and give practical supports to fishermen relentlessly working in Vietnam’s seas. In addition, Cao Dai religion will organize prayers at Holy Sees and Mosques for peace in the East Sea, and for well-bing and prosperity in the whole country./.