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Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire joins millions of Buddhists in prayers for Buddhist Patriarch Thich Huyen Quang

INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST INFORMATION BUREAU, Nov 20, 2004

Hanoi, Vietnam -- International personalities and Vietnamese Buddhists around the world are expressing their sympathy and praying for the swift recovery of the Patriarch of the United Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) Thich Huyen Quang. The Patriarch, 87, was taken into Binh Dinh General Hospital on Thursday for urgent treatment for a stomach hemorrhage. He is extremely weak, but he is reportedly responding well to treatment and his is condition is said to be stable today

Following its report on Thich Huyen Quang?s ill health, the International Buddhist Information Bureau (IBIB) has received thousands of messages of sympathy from all over the world wishing the Patriarch a speedy recovery.  We convey our warm thanks to all those who have sent these kind messages. Below is a message received this morning from Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairéad Corrigan-Maguire. Ms Corrigan-Maguire, a Roman Catholic, was awarded the 1976 Nobel Peace prize along with Betty Williams, a Protestant, for uniting Catholics and Protestants in a common initiative to end sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.

?I am so sorry to read that Buddhist Patriarch Thich Huyen Quang is gravely ill in hospital. Please convey to him my prayers and best wishes for a good recovery.

I would like to join with millions of people around the world in appealing to the Vietnamese Government to grant religious freedom, human rights and democratic reform in Vietnam, also to respect especially the rights of the Buddhists, and other faith traditions, to practise their faith without harassment and persecution.

 

Peace,

Mairead Corrigan Maguire

Nobel Peace Laureate

Since last night, millions of Vietnamese Buddhists inside Vietnam and around the world have begun to organize prayers, vigils, gatherings and ceremonies to pray for Patriarch Thich Huyen Quang. Venerable Thich Ho Giac, President of the Vietnamese American Unified Buddhist Congress in the USA (the UBCV?s Overseas headquarters) sent a letter calling on Buddhists in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia to hold services in their communities. In a letter sent clandestinely from Hue, Venerable Thich Thien Hanh, Vice-President of the UBCV Institute of the Sangha, one of the UBCV leaders placed under house arrest in the October crackdown, called on UBCV Buddhists ?to unite in prayer for the swift recovery of our Patriarch, so that he may continue to lead the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam?. In Vietnam this week-end, hundreds of Buddhist pagodas all over the country are holding ceremonies to pray for the UBCV Patriarch.

Patriarch Thich Huyen Quang, who, along with his deputy Thich Quang Do, has led the UBCV?s nonviolent movement for human rights and freedom for the past three decades, is deeply loved and respected in Vietnam. His courage and resistance during 23 years in detention, internal exile and house arrest have deeply inspired not only Buddhists, but also human rights defenders, democracy activists and members of the many religious denominations in Vietnam



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