Vietnam’s ‘resting’ Catholics begin to return


In a display of creativity, faith and resilience, ‘resting’ Catholics in Vietnam are making a spiritual resurgence.

This is despite facing government restrictions on religious activities.

These people have begun returning, seeking solace and reconnecting with their religious roots.

Over the past decade, Vietnam has experienced a decline in religious practice, with a significant number of Catholics choosing to distance themselves from the Church.

Reasons for this departure range from a shift towards secularism and economic pursuits to government pressures and the complexities of modern life.

However, in recent months, UCANews reports there has been a notable shift.

“For years, I was caught up in the demands of my career and the fast-paced nature of modern life. But deep inside, I always felt something missing.

“The pandemic and its uncertainties made me realise the importance of finding inner peace. Returning to my faith has provided that solace I longed for,” said Mai Nguyen.

While eager to rekindle their spiritual connection, these resurgent Catholics face numerous obstacles due to government restrictions on religious practices.

The Vietnamese government, which strictly regulates religious organisations, maintains control over the appointment of bishops and clergy, often leading to tensions with the Vatican.

Religious gatherings outside of officially sanctioned churches remain a contentious issue, with authorities frequently clamping down on unauthorised events.

Despite this, people s are finding creative ways to navigate these restrictions, organising discreet prayer meetings in private homes or small-scale gatherings in secluded locations.

Nguyen Van Minh, a Catholic priest, acknowledges the challenges faced by Catholics.

“We understand their yearning for spiritual nourishment, and we do our best to provide support within the limitations set by the authorities.

“It’s a delicate balance, but we are committed to fostering their spiritual growth while respecting the laws of the land.”

UCANews reports that despite the government’s tight grip on religious affairs, Vietnam is witnessing a gradual renaissance of religious practices across various faiths as people seek solace and meaning in their lives.

Observers argue the resurgence may be attributed to the country’s rapid socio-economic development, which has led some individuals to re-evaluate their priorities and search for deeper meaning beyond materialistic pursuits.

As the spiritual reawakening gains momentum, the Vietnamese government faces the challenge of balancing its desire for social stability with the rights of individuals to freely practise their faith.

In the meantime, Catholics in Vietnam are stepping out of the shadows, reclaiming their religious identity and reaffirming their commitment to the faith.


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