Religion in Vietnam: surprising facts + cultural insights

Get to know Vietnam before you travel by learning a bit about the religions practiced in the country. Most people are surprised to find out the dominant religion in Vietnam is Vietnamese folk religion!

Vietnamese folk religion
According to the Pew Research Center, folk religions are practiced by 45.3% of people in Vietnam, making this the most dominant religion. While this isn’t an organised religious system, Vietnamese folk religion relates to spirits, gods and deities.

Religion in Vietnam: surprising facts + cultural insights

Vietnamese tradition observes a number of deities and gods, from nationally recognised ones to ancestral gods of specific families. Given the importance of this indigenous religion to communities and families across Vietnam, Vietnamese people are actively encouraged to worship the gods, deities and cultural heroes associated with Vietnamese folk religion.

Some call Vietnamese folk religion Confucianism, because it embodies some Confucian values.

Buddhism
The next most prevalent religion in Vietnam is Buddhism. This religion has an equally long history in Vietnam, thought to originate in at least the 3rd century due to visits from delegations from India and China.

Religion in Vietnam: surprising facts + cultural insights

Given the geographical proximity to China, Vietnamese Buddhism became more closely aligned with Chinese Buddhism. The tradition in Vietnam is predominantly described as the Mahayana Buddhist tradition – the largest major tradition of Buddhism in the world – which focuses on the path to complete enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Religion in Vietnam: surprising facts + cultural insights

The Buddhist tradition in Vietnam can be seen in the abundance of temples throughout the country.

Other religions
Religion in Vietnam is dominated by Vietnamese folk religion and Buddhism, with other religions experiencing far fewer followings. The next most prevalent religion is Christianity, with approximately 8.2% of the country identifying as Christian. There are fewer than 1% each of Hindus, Jews and Muslims. Almost 30% say they are unaffiliated with a religion.

 Religion in Vietnam Kitô

Looking at religion in Vietnam gives a tremendous and fascinating insights into the traditions and beliefs of Vietnamese people. Get to know a bit more about this by visiting ethnic groups living in remote regions and paying a visit to some of Vietnam’s impressive temples. Mr Linh’s Experiences can arrange special experiences and off-the-beaten track cultural tours for those who are keen to get new and original insights into the incredible country of Vietnam.
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