Saturday, August 10, 2013

Religion in Viet Nam

(From nytimes, Lien Hoang)

Here's a nice overview on religion in today's Viet Nam. Viet Nam is officially an atheist (Communist) government, but religion and all things religious are very much alive and well. Such as:

  • Buddhism
  • Catholicism
  • Protestantism
  • Folk religions
  • Animism
  • Ancestor worship
  • Karma
  • Belief in the afterlife
  • "Everyday devotionalism"
  • A general respect for all things sacred, which implies belief that certain things are sacred (divine, in some sense
And there's "Cao Dai (a local religion that embraces the three major Abrahamic faiths, plus Buddha, Confucius, Laozi and even Victor Hugo.)" [Pronounced gao-DIE] (For more on Cao Dai see "Where the Faithful Worship Among the Tourists.")

Here's a statue of Victor Hugo in a Cao Dai temple in Viet Nam, next to other deities. USC anthropology professor Janet Hoskins writes that "Victor Hugo is there almost like John the Baptist. He's a prophet who predicted that this Asian vision would become important in the 20th century."

Three painted statues, including Victor Hugo, on platform in Cao Dai temple at Tay Ninh