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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

March 14, 2006

Written by C.N.

Rise of Catholicism in Viet Nam

Catholicism is apparently becoming more popular and institutionalized in Viet Nam. After decades of repression at the hands of the communist government, there are tangible signs of official tolerance towards Catholics in Viet Nam, along with optimism for establishing official ties with the Vatican:

Religion is still a sensitive subject in Vietnam. The US accuses it of violating the rights of believers, particularly ethnic minority Christians in rural highlands. Vietnamese officials say they respect religious freedoms and point to recent legislation that bans forced conversions and gives equal protection to all faiths. . . .

Of the six official religions recognized by Vietnam, Catholicism ranks second behind Buddhism. It has between 5 million and 7 million followers, concentrated mostly in the south, and is reportedly becoming more popular among young urban Vietnamese who are enjoying the fruits of the country’s rapid economic growth.

As I’ve said before, as Viet Nam becomes increasingly integrated into the international community, it’s likely that some freedoms will improve, and it looks like that’s the case here. Although the article notes that there is still a long way to go before true freedom of religious exists in Viet Nam, this improvement in religious activity is indeed encouraging?

Now if only we can say the same thing about other freedoms of expression and a true democracy . . .

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Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Rise of Catholicism in Viet Nam" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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