Thousands of people attended a ceremony dedicated to their unborn children. In the country there are 2.1 million abortions a year, out of a population of 82 million inhabitants. The interruption of pregnancy is considered by the authorities a means of birth control. The house in Phuoc Phuc, that saved 60 children.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - Thousands of Buddhists attended a special ceremony dedicated to their unborn children, who were aborted. The event, occurred in Quang Tu Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City, largely due to the efforts of Catholic "pro life" activists.

There were more than 4 thousand Buddhists taking part in prayers last Thursday for their 9 thousand unborn children and to find peace. Those present were asked to report honestly how many abortions they carried out. A Buddhist nun, Thanh Lai, who helped to record the names of aborted children reported that at the top of the list was a woman with 20 terminated pregnancies. "But - she says – what is more alarming that there are young people who have had more than four abortions."

In recent years, the percentage of abortions in Vietnam has grown. According to the Vietnam Family Planning Association, the country has one of the highest proportions of abortions throughout the world, with 2.1 million each year out of a population of 82 million people. The fact is that abortion is considered as the national policy on birth control. It is legal and is practiced by both hospitals by private establishments. The ease with which people can get the service, the pressure on pregnant women at work and at home are commonly given as the explanations for the very high percentage of abortions.

The unprecedented event, held at the Tu Quang Pagoda was reasonably well reported by newspapers and some state media commented positively on it. This is probably due to a growing concern for the welfare and moral health of society.

The Thanh Nien Weekly, one of the state media who reported the event, welcomed the efforts of the Venerable Thich Giac Thien, head monk of the pagoda and also interviewed doctors in major health facilities in the city. Tran Son Thach, Hung Vuong Hospital doctor reported 18,600 cases of abortions in the first nine months of this year. 21 thousand others are reported by Duong Phuong Mai, who works in Tu Du Hospital, in which "the percentage of girls under 19 has risen to 10 percent of the interventions, compared to 5 / 7 percent in previous years".

In recent years, Catholic "pro life" activists have tried to involve the Buddhists, who account for 80% of the population. "These activities - says Anh Tuyet, a university student - can not be confined to the Catholics."

There are several initiatives in support of life that the Catholic Vietnamese have conducted among non-Catholics. Such as in the coastal city of Nha Trang, where a 42 year old Catholic, Tong Phuoc Phuc, runs a guest house for pregnant girls who thrown out of their home by their parents and have no place to go. Like other women, they had gone to hospital for an abortion, but there they met with Phuc who convinced them to choose an alternative. He also provides economic help and support until the baby is born and they are accepted again by their parents.

In this way, over the last four years, he has saved 60 children, 26 of whom were taken home by their mothers. Bishop Coadjutor of Nha Trang, Joseph Vo Duc Minh, warmly commends the initiative of Phuc, "a major initiative in favour of life. I was at his house several times to encourage him and pray with him". "In this house I have experienced true love," said Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thao, a Buddhist mother of two children who had been driven by her husband when she refused to terminate her pregnancy.