BackStories » Vietnam » [Video] Vietnamese Monk Faces Punishment For iPhone 6 Unboxing, Extravagant Facebook Photos

A Buddhist monk from the northern province of Hai Duong will “likely be punished by his Sangha” after video of him unboxing an iPhone 6 and photos showing his “extravagant” lifestyle spread across social networks and local news sites, reports Tuoi Tre.

The monk in question, Venerable Sir Thich Thanh Cuong, the abbot of the Cuong Xa Buddhist pagoda, has since been summoned by the Province’s Sangha to give an explanation, but the requests have been ignored according to Bhante Thich Quang Tung, head of the provincial Buddhist Sangha.

“Venerable Sir Thich Thanh Cuong has flouted the Buddhist ethics and spoiled the reputation of the Hai Duong Buddhist Sangha, so he must be strictly penalized,” Bhante Tung said, adding that if Cuong still refuses to come forward, he will be removed from his post as head of his Buddhist Sangha.

The controversy began when a clip of the monk, unboxing an iPhone 6, was reportedly posted to his Facebook page.

“The monk said clearly in the video it was September 24 and he was the first customer to buy the iPhone 6 at the mobile phone shop at 5 Hoang Van Thu Street,” wrote Tuoi Tre.

To make matters worse, other photos from the Cuong's Facebook page showed him “posing with a VND600 million ($28,241) Vertu mobile phone…next to a dining table full of food,” and “In other photos, Venerable Sir Cuong even shed his monk costume to sport a military uniform...”

After going viral, the clip and photos received heavy criticism from Internet users, some of which even mocked him by changing his dharma name to “monk who loves the iPhone.”

Cuong has since come forward, telling Tuoi Tre that the iPhone unboxing was simply a way to bring luck to a mobile phone store’s owner who frequents his pagoda.

“The shop attendants filmed me unpacking the device as a promo video for the store. I didn’t buy the iPhone 6 actually,” he said, adding that nothing prohibits monks from using smartphones.

“Monks also need to utilize hi-tech to communicate and teach Buddhism online,” he declared.

Last June, three Thai monks were reprimanded after footage of the trio flying on a private jet, wearing sunglasses, earphones and carrying Louis Vuitton bags emerged on YouTube.

[Tuoi Tre]

Related Articles

in Vietnam

$14 Million Approved For Restoration Of Hanoi’s 112-Year-Old Long Biên Bridge

The fate of one of Vietnam’s most beloved and storied structures took another positive turn last week when the government approved a $14 million restoration package for Long Biên Bridge.

in Vietnam

'Amazing Race Vietnam' Apologizes for Challenge Harming Coral Reef

An underwater challenge during this year’s installment of The Amazing Race Vietnam is not sitting well with environmentalists.

in Vietnam

10 Beautiful Photos of Sapa's Majestic Snow

Last weekend's snowstorm in Sapa drew photographers from all over northern Vietnam who jumped at the opportunity to capture some great photos of the town's snow-covered hills, roads and residents.&nbs...

in Vietnam

10 Killed, Over 30 Missing in Central and Northern Vietnam as Storm Son-Tinh Brings Flash Floods

Heavy rains from storm Son-Tinh, which eventually weakened to a tropical depression, have caused flash floods and fatalities in central Vietnam.

in Vietnam

104-Year-Old Great-Great Grandmother Fights Off Robber

Taking advantage of the elderly will inevitably result in some bad karma, a lesson a Dong Nai man quickly learned after attempting to rob Vo Thi Bai, a 104-year-old woman.

in Vietnam

116-Year-Old Recognized As Vietnam's Oldest Man

The Vietnam Record Organization (VRO) has recognized 116-tear-old Y'N Dong of Đắk Nông Province as the country’s oldest man, reports Vietnam Net.

Partner Content