major religious traditions in Vietnam are Buddhism (which fuses forms
of Taoism and Confusianism), Christianity (Catholicism and
Protestantism), Islam, Caodaism and the Hoa Hao sect.
was first introduced to Vietnam in the 2nd century, and reached its
peak in the Ly dynasty (11th century). It was then regarded as the
official religion dominating court affairs. Buddhism was preached
broadly among the population and it enjoyed a profound influence on
people's daily life. Its influence also left marks in various areas of
traditional literature and architecture. As such, many pagodas and
temples were built during this time.
the end of the 14th century, Buddhism began to show signs of decline.
The ideological influence of Buddhism, however, remained very strong in
social and cultural life. Presenty, over 70 percent of the population of
Vietnam are either Buddhist or strongly influenced by Buddhist
was introduced to Vietnam in the 17th century. At present the most
densely-populated Catholic areas are Bui Chu-Phat Diem in the northern
province of Ninh Binh and Ho Nai-Bien Hoa in Dong Nai Province to the
South. About 10 percent of the population are considered Catholic.
was introduced to Vietnam at about the same time as Catholicism.
Protestantism, however, remains an obscure religion. At present most
Protestants live in the Central Highlands. There still remains a
Protestant church on Hang Da Street in Hanoi. The number of Protestants
living in Vietnam is estimated at 400,000.
followers in Vietnam are primarily from 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.
was first introduced to the country in 1926. Settlements of the Cao Dai
followers in South Vietnam are located near the Church in Tay Ninh. The
number of followers of this sect is estimated at 2 million.
Hoa Hao Sect
Hoa Hao Sect was first introduced to Vietnam in 1939. More than 1
million Vietnamese are followers of this sect. Most of them live in the
south-west of Vietnam.
Mother Worship (Tho Mau)
describe the Vietnamese mother-worship cult as a primitive religion.
Mother, Me in the Vietnamese language, is pronounced Mau in
Sino-script. The mother worship cult might be originated from the cult
of the Goddess in ancient ages. In the Middle Ages, the Mother was
worshipped in temples and palaces. Due to the fact that it is a
worshipping custom and not a religion, the Mother worshipping cult has
not been organised as Buddhism and Catholicism have. As a result, the
different affiliations of the cult have yet to be consistent and
different places still have different customs.
custom of Mother worship originated from the north. In the south, the
religion has integrated the local goddesses such as Thien Y A Na (Hue) and Linh Son (Tay Ninh).
In fact, the Mother worship cult was influenced by other religions, mainly Taoism.