Roman Catholicism in Vietnam
The Roman Catholic Church in Vietnam belongs to the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and the cardinal in Rome. Vietnam ranks fifth in terms of the largest Catholic population in Asia, after the Philippines, India, China and Indonesia. According to the Catholic Hierarchy Directory “there are 5,658,000 Catholics in Vietnam, accounting for 6.87% of the total population.
Kien Lao Church, Nam Dinh Province. Photo: @ catalin_chitu_22_photography
There are 26 dioceses (including three archdioceses) with 2228 parishes and 2668 priests”. The three archdioceses are located in Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City. In the early 16th century, the first Catholic missionaries from Portugal visited Vietnam. However, it was only after the arrival of the Jesuits in the first decades of the 17th century that Christianity began to establish its place in the local population.
Catholic beliefs and practices in Vietnam include: believing that Jesus is divine, possessing the “three ordained offices” of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, the belief that The Church is the full vessel and custodian of the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles from which the Bible was founded, using sacred images, candles, vestments, and music, and often incense and water, to worship, to honor Mary, the mother of Jesus the Virgin Mary, and to venerate the saints and many others. belies and common Catholic practices.
St Joseph’s Church, Hanoi. Photo: @ tony.hughese.3720
If you are Catholic and want to practice your faith in churches, there are many churches throughout Vietnam. In Hanoi, the most famous and also the largest church, interestingly enough is the Cathedral or St Joseph’s Cathedral. It is located on Nha Chung Street, a short distance from Hoan Kiem Lake in central Hanoi, and its architecture is designed to resemble Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Cua Bac Church and Ham Long Church are also famous in Hanoi.
Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: @akatstory
In Phat Diem Town, Ninh Binh Province, there is a very special Phat Diem Church, built entirely of stone and wood. Located in the heart of Hue city, Phu Cam Cathedral is the most famous and oldest, possessing the delicate beauty of modern architecture. South to Ho Chi Minh City, Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon (officially the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception) is the largest and most impressive church with two 60-meter-high bell towers, attracting thousands of visitors. thousand visitors per year.