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THE RELIGIOUS STATE OF VIETNAM Part 1 Geographical Political and Religious Demographics Vietnam has an area of 127207 square miles and is located in Southeast Asia The country has a coastline of nearly 1440 miles 2317 kilometers much of which fronts on the South China Sea Border countries are China Cambodia and Laos The current government is a Socialist Republic The population of Vietnam in the early 1990s was estimated at more than 67 million Birth- and death rates respectively were 31 and 9 per thousand The natural rate of increase per year is 23 percent If this rate continued the population of the country would double within 30 years The average life expectancy is 60 years The three traditional religions are Buddhism Taoism and Confucianism Buddhism was brought into Vietnam from China in the 2nd century AD and has the largest number of followers About 32 million Vietnamese follow Buddhism and most of these followers are Mahayana Buddhists see Buddhism Both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism are practiced Most of Vietnams Theravada Buddhists are Khmer Krom They number about 900000 and live in southern and southwestern Vietnam It is this group that has supplied the Vietnamese army in Cambodia with interpreters and staff for its government there Confucianism serves as a means of forming social patterns Rules for social interaction the cult of ancestor worship and the male-dominated family structure are by-products of the religion Roman Catholicism was introduced into Vietnam in the 16th century and flourished especially under the French There are about 2 million followers of the religion today Part 2 Dominant Religious Traditions Buddhism is the main religion in Vietnam Buddhism is when you go through the act of self-denial and right thinking to reach the state of nirvana Nirvana is any place or condition of great peace or bliss One of the main forms of Buddhism practiced is theraveda Theravada is a form of Buddhism
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