Wednesday, May 31, 2017

hoa xong

Religions in Vietnam

There are a number of religions observed in Vietnam, the most popular of which is Mahayana, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Besides these are minorities of Roman Catholicism, Caodaiism, Hoa Hao, and Protestantism which appeared with the arrival of French colonization. Despite this broad spectrum of religions, most Vietnamese identify themselves as non-religious. They’d rather see themselves as spiritual who believe in another world of the deceased and who go to visit pagodas and temples to pray for health, luck and happiness on important occasions of the year.

Buddhism has the greatest number of followers among religions in Vietnam, comprising about 15% of the population (this number varies significantly according to the gatherers of data). The two streams of Buddhism- Mahayana coming from China to the North and Theravada coming from India to the South- characterize the practice of Buddhists in two regions, as well as formulate the differences in the architecture of worship infrastructure in the North and the South. The evolution in Buddhism practice in Vietnam is also highly influenced by Taoism, Confucianism and other indigenous religion, which drifts the focus away from self-meditation into complicated rituals. The teaching of cause and effect in Buddhism is prevalent in Vietnamese mindset and increasingly becomes a living guide for people.

Roman Catholicism
In the 16th century, Spanish and Portuguese roamed the world and spread their religion including a stop to Vietnam. During colonization, the French sped up the popularization of Catholicism, opening door for Western culture to enter Vietnam. Today there are about 6,000 churches of different size in this S-shaped country and about 6% of the population practicing Catholicism.

One of the few indigenous regions, CaoDaiism was established in 1926 based in Tay Ninh Holy Tower. It can be visualized as a modified Buddhism that harmonizes the practice of different religions. CaoDaiism worships Cao Dai, Buddha and Jesus, combines the teaching of Confucianism, Christianity and Taoism. The final goal is to teach its follower to live a balanced and benevolent life. A few practices include vegetarianism, worshiping ancestors, devoting to help the less advantaged, etc. There is an estimated 2.5% of Vietnam population is Cao Dai, mainly in Tay Ninh and a few scattering in the States, Europe and Australia.

Hoa Hao
Hoa Hao is also a recently established religion, founded in 1939 in An Giang. It bears similarity to both Catholicism and Jehovah Witness in that the founders of Hoa Hao are believed to be living Buddhas and that it encourages simple worshiping practice. If Mahayana Buddhism in the North involves colorful statues and well prepared offerings, Hoa Hao allows only flower and clean water. Events such as wedding or festival are organized simplest possible. About 1.5% of Vietnamese are followers of Hoa Hao.

About Vietnam Discovery -