WCC extends greetings as Buddhists observe Vesakh

Vesakh ceremony in Uttaradit, Thailand, 1998.


As many Buddhists prepare to observe Vesakh on 29 April – a day commemorating the life and legacy of Gautama Buddha – WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit extended his greetings to Buddhists across the world.

“As you reflect upon the life, teachings and death of Gautama Buddha on this auspicious occasion, may you be inspired by his vision of a world free from inequality, injustice and all forms of suffering,” Tveit wrote. “The WCC’s engagement with our Buddhist sisters and brothers in recent years has touched some of the most crucial issues of our times including corporate greed, climate change, just finance and  gender justice.”

There is a lot that Christians and Buddhists can do together, Tveit added. “Our friendship and partnership can be a strong basis for a future with hope in a divided world,” he wrote. “As you light your colourful lanterns in prayer and reflection, I wish and pray that you, your families and your communities will be blessed with health, happiness and harmony.”

Learn more about the work of the WCC in interreligious dialogue

WCC letter on the occasion of Vesakh 2018




The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 348 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 550 million Christians in over 120 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway.

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