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|Southeast Asian Peoples
For over two thousand years, people in the land of Vietnam have recognized their national identity. During those two millennia China controlled Vietnam about one half of the time.
In 1887 Vietnam became part of French Indochina. From 1939 to 1975 the Vietnamese fought the Japanese, French and then the Americans.
The communists under Ho Chi Minh overthrew the French in 1954. The Geneva Accord of 1954 split the country into North and South Vietnam along the 17th parallel. The US gave aid to South Vietnam. The US military withdrew from the country in 1973. Two years later the communist north overtook the south and "re-united" the country. Under state socialism the nation's economy floundered. In the 1990s the government began to allow market reforms and the economy has grown to become one of the leading economies of Southeast Asia.
People who worked with the South Vietnamese government were severely persecuted and had to flee. Most of the ethnic Vietnamese who left their country fled after the war ended, the 1970s-1980s. Thousands of Vietnamese now live in France, the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK, and all countries in Southeast Asia.
Australia was one of the first places where Vietnamese boat people fled after their country was overrun by the communists. The Vietnamese in Australia have a large population, especially in Sydney.
Vietnamese is the third most spoken language in Australia today. Most of the Vietnamese Diaspora are from the southern part of the country, and they have adapted well to free market economics. Many are successful businessmen. Others have contributed to Australian society in the media, and by introducing the popular and delicious Vietnamese cuisine. Vietnamese restaurants are everywhere in Australian cities.
The earliest forms of Vietnamese worship were animism and veneration for ancestors. The Vietnamese worshiped the sun, soil, water and the earth fertility goddess Mau. The Vietnamese believed that spirits dwelt in the mountains, rivers, rocks, and other forms of nature. There were also spirits of their departed ancestors who needed to be placated and honored.
Later Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucianism thought made their way to Vietnam. These beliefs were incorporated into the Vietnamese form of animism and ancestor veneration. No matter where they live, it is common for the Vietnam to practice Buddhism blended with their old spiritual practices.
About one out of 12 Vietnamese claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. Most of these are Roman Catholics with a much smaller Protestant church.
The Vietnamese must see that Christianity is not a foreign religion imposed on them by outsiders. Jesus Christ is their Savior and the Lord and King of all. The Vietnamese must see the love of Christ lived out among them by Spirit-filled disciples.
Ask the Lord to send loving disciplers to the Vietnamese in Australia.
Pray for a spiritual hunger among the Vietnamese that drives them to read the Bible and listen to Christian radio programs.
Pray for a revival in the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches in Australia.
Pray for spiritual hunger and a thirst for a Christ-centered righteousness among the Vietnamese.