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Bat Nha Monastery: The Latest News

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Since June, 400 monks and nuns at Bat Nha Monastery in Vietnam have been harassed by the government. The situation has gotten worse of the past few months, with more than 300 of the monks and nuns (many of them followers of Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh) violently expelled from the monastery in September. More background on the situation is available here.

According to a press release issued on November 26, “the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the violence against Bat Nha monks and nuns and calling on Vietnam to curb its violations of freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly and respect its human rights commitments and Vietnam’s own Constitution.”

If you want to take action on this issue, take a look at this page from the Help Bat Nha Monastery website.

About Maia

I've been practicing and studying the Buddha way since 1994, and exploring the question "What is engaged Buddhism?" since the late 90s. As former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and editor of its journal, Turning Wheel, I had the honor of meeting and working with many practitioners of engaged dharma, including Roshi Joan Halifax, Joanna Macy, Alan Senauke, and Robert Aitken Roshi. I write about socially engaged Buddhism on my blog, "The Jizo Chronicles," as well as on the theme of personal and collective freedom on my website, "The Liberated Life Project." Through my Five Directions Consulting, I offer support to individuals and organizations who aspire to integrate awareness into their work.

6 responses »

  1. Thank you for this post — did Bat Nha monastery actually belong to Thich Nhat Hanh or one of his organizations?

  2. Hi Arun,

    From the “Help Bat Nha” website timeline:

    “During this trip [Thay’s 2005 trip to Vietnam] Ven. Duc Nghi, before a crowd of thousands of people, offered his Bat Nha monastery in Lam Dong Province to Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh and his followers. At the time there were about 80 young aspirants wishing to ordain as monks and nuns in Nhat Hanh’s tradition.

    Immediately 2005 large donations began to be made from Plum Village and foreign followers of Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh to fund the development of the Bat Nha site and the living expenses of the young monks, nuns and aspirants. It is estimated that their investment in Bat Nha monastery and its sangha between 2005-9 totalled approximately one million dollars. Money was invested in buying additional lands and constructing new residential and service buildings, including a large meditation hall (capacity 1,800).”

  3. Pingback: More about the Situation at Bat Nha Monastery « Rev. Danny Fisher

  4. Thank you for your quick response. I am well aware of all these events, but I have also been under the understanding that Bat Nha monastery still belonged to the GHPGVN both in terms of administrative accountability and abbotship. As far as I have been informed, Thich Nhat Hanh has no formal affiliation with GHPGVN. I don’t believe these facts contradict the statement above, but they do suggest that any affiliation that Thich Nhat Hanh has with Bat Nha monastery is substantively different, much less intimate and legally-speaking indirect compared with his relationship to monasteries such as Plum Grove and Deer Park.

    • Thanks for clarifying the ownership and abbotship of Bat Nha. I will edit the original post to make it more accurate. If you hear any more information about this, please do let me know. What does GHPGVN stand for?

  5. GHPGVN (Giao hoi Phat giao Viet Nam, “Buddhist Church of Viet Nam”) is the Buddhist network founded by the Vietnamese Communist Party in 1981. In contrast, GHPGVNTN (Giao Hoi Phat giao Viet Nam Thong nhat, “Unified Buddhist Church of Viet Nam”) was previously founded in 1963 in an effort to promote religious freedom and equality in the Republic of Vietnam. GHPGVNTN continues to push for religious freedom in modern Vietnam, where the government has deemed it an illegal religious organization.


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