The diversity of religious

   Vietnam’s religious diversity reflects the country’s experience with foreign invaders and occupiers, as well as its status as a crossroads of trade in Southeast Asia. There are four major religions in Vietnam: Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Christianity. Most Vietnamese practice what is known as the “triple religion,” a mixture of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.
   Theravada Buddhism arrived in Vietnam via Indian trade routes through present-day Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Thailand. Mahayana Buddhism came later, during Chinese rule, and emerged as the official state religion after Vietnam regained its independence in the tenth century. Buddhism is based on these Four Noble Truths:
         • Existence is sufferin
         • Suffering is caused by desire.
         • Suffering ends with the extinction of desire.
         • To end suffering, follow the steps of the Eightfold Path: right un
derstanding (or views), thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration (or meditation).
   Confucianism emphasizes social behavior, duty, and hierarchy more than religious practices. Its code of ethics demands loyalty of government to the emperor,obedience of children to parents,and submission of wives to husbands. It asserts that everyone has the same potential for achieving happiness, attained by improvement through education. Confucian ideals also promote ancestor worship, the ritual expression of filial piety.
  The Temple of Literature (Van Mieu), built in the twelfth century in present-day Hanoi, is dedicated to Confucius. It is the site of the first university in Vietnam and for many centuries was the principal center of learning. Aside from being a major tourist attraction, the temple is still used as a place of worship, with many altars of burning incense and statues of the Buddha. 
Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam : The first university in Vietnam (since 1070)
  Christianity was introduced to Vietnam in the seventeenth century by missionaries from Spain, Portugal, and France. There are nearly six million Catholics, most of whom live in the south. A small number of Vietnamese are Muslims, mainly from the Chan ethnic minority group living in central Vietnam.
   Although Vietnam’s constitution guarantees religious freedom, the government does not tolerate attempts on the part of religious groups or organizations to oppose it.A new State Ordinance on Beliefs and Religions outlines cases in which belief and religious activities will be temporarily suspended. As one example, mentioned by the deputy head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs in a recent interview, such a suspension would occur if “someone takes advantage of their religious freedom to threaten national security and the people’s solidarity”

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