How Do the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam and Vietnamese Buddhist Association Differ From Each Other? (Part 5 of 7)

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(Part 5)

  1. Legal Doctrine, Status, and Organization:
    1. The UBCV

“What is a legal doctrine? Right here and right now, religious legality is only a piece of paper issued to a newly-created organization in order to support individual and short- sighted non-Buddhist purposes. Reversely, our Church has been on this land for 2000 years. Dinh, Le, Ly, Tran dynasties accepted Buddhism. That’s why slogans like this were resonated at the UBCV’s Emergency Conference after 1975 at An Quang Temple’s Auditorium in Saigon…”

“The UBCV’s legal doctrine are 2000 years of building the culture and pioneering Dharma in this country of Vietnam!

“The status of the UBCV are 80% of the people, including elderlies, the youths, the olds, and the children!

“The UBCV’s offices are the countrysides, city, highlands, and islands!”

    1. The VBA

The VBA’s legal doctrine is a piece of certification from the communist Vietnamese government, signed by the prime minister Pham Van Dong, along with the “family history” that details the process of VBA’s creation by Mr. Do Trung Hieu, aliased Muoi Anh.

The status of the VBA is a member in the political organization Fatherland Front of Vietnam.

The VBA’s offices are nothing other than the Temples, Retreat halls, meditation halls, and Buddha recitation halls that it expropriated from the UBCV.

  1. Organizational Structure

According to the UBCV’s Constitution, Article 6, Chapter 4, “The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam is one of founding Buddhist countries and is a regional focal point of International Buddhism.” Organizational structure includes: Central and Provinces, Cities, Townships, Districts, Villages, Wards, Neighborhoods, Flocks, and Congregations at local areas. The UBCV uses the Buddhist public as her foundation. Each unit has legal administrative representative delegation.

The government’s VBA’s structure has only 2 levels: Central and Provinces; there are no Districts, Villages, Wards, Neighborhoods, and Congregations. District Associations were created, but they are similar to communication bodies between the temples and provincial organization only. The entire organization structure is that of “AN UP-SIDE-DOWN stupa, there is an organization above without any organization below” (quoting Do Trung Hieu ). The VBA uses Temples, Retreat halls, Meditation halls, and Buddha Recitation halls as offices. Local areas only have Temple Assistance groups, which are merely temple guarding groups.