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Vietnam has a diverse mix of religions, including Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Catholocism, Hinduism and even a home grown religion, Cao Daism. The dominant religion is Buddhism and you will see numerous temples throughout Vietnam as well as the traditional alters in many homes and hotels. Catholicism is also strong in Vietnam, undoubtedly a result of 100 years of French rule. There are a number of beautiful Catholic churches throughout the country.

An unusual religion, Cao Daism, was founded in Vietnam in 1926 by Ngo Minh Chieu. The Cao Dai religion is a melting pot of Buddhist, Christian, Taoist and Confucianist ideals. Part cult, part political organization, part religion, it developed quite a followingVery quickly. As you can imagine, this did not go over well with the South Vietnamese government or later the Communist government, and for a while Cao Daism almost died out. Today Cao Daism is once again flourishing, with an estimated 2 million followers in Vietnam. They have temples throughout South Vietnam and those at Tay Ninh and Danang are popular tourist sites. (and well worth aVisit!)

After reunification in 1975, the government sought to supress religion and it's influence on the people. The result is that today, many young people consider themselves atheists. But as in other Communist countries, religion never really left Vietnam and today, with a new climate of tolerance, religions of all types are practiced openly in Vietnam.


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