Thich Minh Tue, Buddhist ascetic in Vietnam, ends his journey after the death of his disciple

- through Henry Oudin

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California lawmaker Ta Duc Tri has urged the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to take up the cause of Vietnamese Le Anh Tu, also known as Thich Minh Tue, who recently ended his Buddhist pilgrimage. For nearly a month, Tue's journey was celebrated by locals along the way, reported by news agencies around the world and broadcast live by social media influencers, making him a powerful symbol of religion in Vietnam.

Tuesday attracted considerable public attention, attracting large crowds and causing traffic disruptions and safety concerns. On June 3, the government Committee for Religious Affairs announced that Tue had voluntarily stopped his alms tours following incidents of heatstroke, exhaustion and deaths among his followers.

After a week of retreat, Tue appeared on VTV1's newscast on June 8, expressing his well-being and commitment to Buddhist teachings. Due to concerns about traffic disruptions, it announced its decision to suspend operations. This development led to an increase in viewers and online discussions, with “VTV1 Thich Minh Tue” trending on Google Vietnam for two consecutive days.

On June 9, VTV1 continued its coverage with another interview featuring Tue in a serene setting, discussing his future. The interviews sparked debates on social media, with some praising VTV for its insights and others questioning the authenticity of the coverage. VTV journalist Lien Lien clarified the authenticity of the interviews, asking for evidence to support claims of misinformation.

As the debates continued, social media posted a video of Tue receiving his citizen ID card on June 8. Earlier, Tue, the beggar figure at the center of the "mendicant monk" craze on social media, voluntarily stopped his latest march following traffic and traffic disruptions caused by his supporters.

From 2017 to 2023, Tue practiced Buddhism by walking and begging for alms throughout Vietnam without issue. In 2024, he began his fourth march from Khanh Hoa province to the northern border, but this time large crowds, including social media followers live-streaming his journey, caused periods of disorder and traffic disruptions.

On May 30, a follower named Luong Thanh Son died from heat stroke, multiple organ failure, and gastrointestinal hemorrhage. On June 2, two women following Tue also suffered heat stroke and exhaustion, but were hospitalized in time for treatment.


Authorities highlighted the government's policy of respecting freedom of belief and religion in the context of public security and social stability. The Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam confirmed that Tue was not a registered monk, and Tue himself stated that he was a layman following the teachings of Buddha.

The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) thanked Tue for “bringing a breath of fresh air to a Vietnamese society whose morality has deteriorated and which has lost faith in Buddhism.” They urged the Vietnamese government to respect his “choice to cultivate himself without interference” by allowing him to resume his pilgrimage. (Radio Asia Libre)

Tue expressed his wish to resume his trips when he attracted fewer crowds. Currently, his case has attracted the attention of many human rights groups and religious freedom advocates. Phil Robertson, former deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and current head of Asia Human Rights and Labor, suggested that Tue did not intentionally interrupt his pilgrimage and that his case "reveals the inherent lack of confidence in the Vietnamese communists. Party and government in the Vietnamese people. (Asian News)

* Thich Minh Tue, wandering Buddhist ascetic in Vietnam, gains ground (Buddhist News Global)

Learn more

California lawmaker calls for pressure on Vietnam over detention of unofficial monk (Radio Free Asia)
VTV's Coverage of Thich Minh Tue Arouses Public Interest, Sparks Controversy (Vietnamnet Global)
The fate of the “wandering monk” Thich Minh Tue unknown after Hanoi’s intervention (PIME Asia News)

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The article Thich Minh Tue, Buddhist ascetic in Vietnam, completes his journey after the death of his disciple appeared first on Buddhadoor Global.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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