Vietnam Embassy in Stockholm

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RELIGION

In addition to traditional religious practices in Vietnam there are other major religions such as Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism,Islam, the Cao Dai sect and the Hoa Hao sect ect.

  • Buddhism was first introduced to Vietnam in the 4th century B.C.. The Buddhist religion reached its peak in the Ly dynasty ( the 11th century ). It was then regarded as the official religion dominating court affairs. Buddhism was preached broadly among the population and enjoyed a profound influence on people's daily life. Its influence also left marks in various areas of traditional literature and architecture. Many pagodas and temples were built during this time.
    At the end of the 14th century Buddhism began to show signs of decline. Yet the ideological influence of Buddhism remained very strong in social and cultural life. At present, over 70 percent of the population of Vietnam are other Buddhist or strongly influenced by Buddhist practices.
  • Catholicism was introduced to Vietnam in the 17 century. At present the most densely-populated Catholic areas are Bui Chu - Phat Diem in Ninh Binh province in the North and Ho Nai - Bien Hoa in Dong Nai province in the south. About 10 percent of the population are considered to be catholic.
  • Protestantism was also introduced to Vietnam at about the same time as Catholicism. Yes, Protestantism remains obscure. At present most Protestants live in the Central Highlands. There is also a Protestants Church in Hang Da street in Ha Noi. The number of Protestants is estimated at a mere 400,000.
  • Islam: Most of the Islamic follower in Vietnam are those of the Cham ethnic minority group living in the central part of the central coast. The number of Islamic followers in Vietnam totals about 50,000.
  • Cao Dai sect: It was first introduced to the country in 1926. The Church in Tay Ninh is the central point nearby which are located settlements of those Cao Dai followers in South Vietnam. The number of followers of this sect is estimated at 2 million.
  • Hoa Hao sect: The sect was first introduced to Vietnam in 1939. More than 1 million Vietnamese are followers of this sect. Most of them live in the western part of South Vietnam