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Catholic Connection in Vietnam

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Dr. Bob, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator

    Jun 30, 2000
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    The support of a minority Catholic regime in South Vietnam by the first US Catholic President may be a fact-behind-the-fact of the slow increase of involvement in that nation's civil war that led to all out US fighting in the next few years.

    Any tie there, you think?
  2. mioque

    mioque New Member

    May 23, 2003
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    Kennedy simply continued Eisenhower's policies in South-Vietnam, that had been in place since 1954.
  3. The Galatian

    The Galatian New Member

    Aug 18, 2001
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  4. Dragoon68

    Dragoon68 Active Member

    Nov 30, 2003
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    The conflict between Buddhism and Catholicism played a political role during the war but it was really an internal conflict not brought about by the US. We sometimes want to believe we have more influence than we really do!

    The Buddhists believed that Diem favored Catholics over their majority and, perhaps, he did. Some Buddhists did use the Catholic faith of Diem and the America's support of him to blame us for aligning Vietnamese against Vietnamese but that wasn't truth. Naturally, those who follow conspiracy theories would make a connection to JFK's Catholic faith but that's a mythical stretch!

    Old timers may remember the immolation of some Buddhist monks and various conflicts between National Police and Buddhist monks in which numbers were killed. The US government wanted Diem to work things out with the Buddhist but he cracked down on them instead. This was probably a factor in our not opposing the coup d' etat by ARVN forces that resulted in Diem murder and a subsequent regime change. The coup d' etat, however, was a Vietnamese operation of their own making.

    We did want a stable government and could see that Diem wasn't going in that direction. The Vietnamese certainly wanted that! However, the change didn't stop the trouble and the new regime ended up putting key Buddhist leaders into prison or exile. Things quieted down some just before the end of the war.

    Interestingly, the Buddhists - or any other religious group - are not any better off today than they were with the former governments whether US supported or not. At least in recent times things have been relatively peaceful except for some of the mountain tribal people who are very different in culture than the typical Southern, central, or Northern Vietnamese. Remember, however, that Viet Nam does not enjoy the depth of freedom of religion which we do in America.

    Aside from Christianity, Viet Nam has Animism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, some Islam, a host of lessor groups such as Cao Dai. Elements of Animism are adapted into most other religious practices as well. This is the common thread among all Vietnamese.

    Pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal himself to all His chosen children in Viet Nam. It is a land of great prospect for God's work. Christianity is strong among Vietnamese living in America and their practice of it is based on solid doctrine and teaching.