Vietnam Religion and Ideology Travel Guides
Traditionally and ultimately the Vietnamese practice ancestor worshipping. This
still plays the most important part of the Vietnamese spiritual life. This
tradition actually helps make the spiritual life and religious life in Vietnam
very characteristic and colorful. Besides the Vietnamese also practice the
worshipping of the Mother of the Land.
The predominant religion practiced by the Vietnamese is Mahayana Buddhism, which
is often referred to as a way of life or a system of ethic values rather than a
religion. It advocates moderation in all facets of life and sees material
objects as standing in the way of greater happiness. Buddhists believe in
reincarnation, with the actions of your current life determining the role of
your next life. By living simply and selflessly, a person will be reincarnated
many times over. This continues over many lifetimes until the soul reaches a
stage of eternal happiness - nirvana.
Other religions practiced in VietNam are Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity
(both Catholic and Protestant), animism, Caodaism, Hoa Hao. A small number of
the population practices Islam. One thing the traveler may find out when
traveling in Vietnam is that people follow polytheism even though the majority
would tend to say they are Buddhist.
Religious practices for Foreigners
Ha Noi's large Catholic Cathedral has services only in Vietnamese; another
Catholic church, the Cua Bach Church, near West Lake has a Sunday morning mass