Prayers and Donations for the Victims of Hurricane Katrina

Statement by The Head of the Congregation, Most Venerable Thich Nhu Hue, representing the Unified Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation of Australia ? New Zealand, Published on The Buddhist Channel, Sept 5, 2005

Sydney, Australia -- We all have been watching the tragedy unfurl for the people of the Southern States of America, particularly those in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The catastrophic extent of damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina and the enormous task of helping and evacuating tens of thousands of refugees is unprecedented, especially for the people of New Orleans.

We have seen how this natural tragedy has cost so many lives and caused hundreds of thousands to lose their homes, their business and their livelihoods. Many are still without adequate food, water, shelter and medical support. The United Nations, Europe and many countries throughout the world have heard their voices and have offered contributions and assistance.

As for the suffering, pain and misery of Hurricane Katrina?s victims, I am writing this letter to announce that members of 34 Buddhist temples around Australia and New Zealand have been asked to conduct blessing ceremonies. In addition I ask that all temples conduct fundraising, within their communities, to be contributed to aiding the victims. We remind our congregations, that among the victims, we also have our fellow Vietnamese, some of whom have become refugees for the second time. Please send your donations to your local temple or direct to the Commission for Social Welfare and Charities of our Congregation who will forward your donations to the American Red Cross.

On behalf of the Unified Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation in Australia and New Zealand (We Vietnamese Buddhists, represent 34 temples/monasteries comprising nearly 100 monks, nuns and 100,000 lay devotees of the Unified Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation of Australia-New Zealand from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Auckland and Brisbane). I would like to send to President George W. Bush, our sympathy and condolences and respectfully request he passes our thoughts and prayers to all of the victims and their families. I do hope that our generosity and compassion will help to remove much of the suffering caused by this Hurricane Katrina, and that the people affected and will recover soon.