How Do the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam and Vietnamese Buddhist Association Differ From Each Other? (Part 4 of 7)

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(Part 4)

  1. Names called by purposes and origin of creation:
    1. Authentic Buddhist Church and Official Buddhist Church:

According to the Preamble of the UBCV’s Constitution, the UBCV was formed “on the voluntary basis, bringing together Mahayana and Theravada, Vietnamese, Cambodia, and Chinese Buddhist sects to create the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam in 1964 in order to unite and protect one another against schemes to divide and oppress from anti-ethnic political entities. The UBCV was not installed by ruling regimes to act as a tool for these regimes.” The UBCV has inherited a 2000-year tradition of Vietnamese Buddhism, which was created by the great Monks and Elders, the Most Senior and revered monks, and lay Buddhists. The UBCV was not created by any secular political entity. Thus, the UBCV is an “Authentic Buddhist Church

The VBA was forcedly installed by the communist regimes in 1981 at Quan Su Temple in Hanoi. The VBA is a member of the Fatherland Front, a Communist Party’s peripheral organization. Therefore, on legal terms, the VBA is called “Official Buddhist Church

    1. Traditional Buddhist Church and Neo-Buddhist Church

The UBCV has been inherited from Patriarchs since the ancient time, of whom the First Patriarch was The Venerable Khuong Viet, also known as Nho Chan Luu Zen Master in the First Le dynasty. Thus the UBCV is called the “Traditional Buddhist Church

The VBA was created by the communist government in as early as 1981, thus is called the Neo-Buddhist Church.

    1. People’s Buddhist Church and Government’s Buddhist Church

The UBCV has been voluntarily built by monks and lay Buddhists. Therefore the UBCV is called “A People’s Buddhist Church

The VBA was installed by the communist government and is a member of the Fatherland Front, The Communist Party’s peripheral political organization. Therefore the VBA is “A Government’s Buddhist Church.” (Generally, the public calls the VBA the Nationalized Buddhist Church).

    1. Genuine Buddhist Church and Political Buddhist Church

The UBCV only genuinely functions religiously, bringing the liberation and enlightenment dharma to people. UBCV Monks never assume any secular position. Therefore the UBCV is a Genuine Buddhist Church.

The VBA is a member of the Fatherland Front, a political organization. The VBA sends its member to run for such secular positions as People’s Committee, People’s Congress, and so on. Therefore, the VBA is a Political Buddhist Church.

    1. Buddhist Church and Buddhist Association

The UBCV was formed after the successful struggle in 1963 to abolish Religious Order No. 10 since the days of French occupation. French colonists’ Religious Order No. 10 only recognized Christianity as the only Church, other religions were only Associations. The UBCV had been a Buddhist Church, completely independent from any other organization.

The VBA belongs to the Association structure and is subordinated, as it is a member of the Fatherland Front and is influenced by all of this political organization’s governances and controls. The VBA’s name conforms to the People’s Campaign Body’s primary goal “The essence of the scheme is to make the entire Vietnamese Buddhism a public entity, even at a lower level than an organization because it only consists of monks and nuns and no lay Buddhists. There is only a mother organization without any offspring organization called Vietnamese Buddhist Association (VBA).”

After a number of UBCV’s leadership members abandon the Church’s boat and jump onto another boat, the Most Venerable Thich Duc Nhuan, Advisor for the Institute for the Dissemination of Dharma, UBCV, lamented “How painful, when Vietnamese Buddhism has just been liberated into the ocean from narrow creeks, you Venerables today voluntarily step into a stagnant pond of imprisoning water” (excerpt from the letter of the late Most Venerable Thich Duc Nhuan)