Orthodoxy In Vietnam: God’s Miraculous Plan

Vietnam, often overshadowed by its turbulent history and economic challenges, is quietly witnessing a profound spiritual resurgence that challenges common perceptions. Amidst the dominance of Buddhism and Roman Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity has emerged as a quietly growing faith, defying conventional religious norms.

Established primarily through the efforts of the Russian Orthodox Church, Orthodox communities have taken root in significant urban centers such as Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, and Hanoi since the early 2000s. Despite not being officially recognized as a state religion, these communities have flourished through grassroots efforts and personal exploration rather than aggressive evangelization.

Vietnamese Orthodox Youth at the Christmas Liturgy Vietnamese Orthodox Youth at the Christmas Liturgy     

“I chose Orthodox Christianity due to my faith experience in the past,” shared Athanasius. “I was born Roman Catholic and explored Roman Catholic theology and liturgy. I found some issues in Roman Catholic theology throughout its history. I then tried Lutheran teachings, but it didn’t fully satisfy me. Finally, I discovered Orthodox Christianity, and its theology profoundly fulfilled me and my soul. I have experienced Orthodoxy and love it forever.”

Savva, leader of the Vietnamese Orthodox Youth Group, expressed, “God conquered the hearts of the Vietnamese people. Orthodoxy appeared at the right time, not through coercion or spiritual terrorism, but through love! Sometimes, we don’t even call our faith Orthodox; we have our own term, ‘Đạo Thương’, meaning, ‘the path of learning to love’.“

Metropolitan Pavel’s visit to the parish of Protection of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary in Ho Chi Minh City. Metropolitan Pavel’s visit to the parish of Protection of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary in Ho Chi Minh City.   

“I chose Orthodox Christianity perhaps primarily because of its ‘strangeness’ and ‘beauty’,” shared Gia Hoa, a young believer from Long An province. “I have always had a passion for exploring religions, so Orthodox Christianity truly fascinated me from the start. Moreover, I had many issues in life that required a firm faith foundation, and perhaps nothing suited me better than Orthodox Christianity. Gradually, I realized the core values and foundations of Orthodox faith, its holiness, and the beauty of an ancient faith.”

Orthodox Christianity in Vietnam is not merely a religious alternative but a path marked by its emphasis on love and spiritual growth, resonating deeply in a society navigating rapid economic and social change.

Demetrius, a dedicated young Orthodox believer, is currently immersed in cultivating Orthodox music projects in Vietnamese. He articulates his journey to Orthodoxy with conviction: “The primary motivation behind my decision to embrace Orthodoxy is rooted in my belief that it represents the true Church, preserving the traditions established by Christ Himself. Within the Orthodox Church, I experience a profound sense of divine love, both from God and from fellow believers, creating an exceptionally warm and welcoming environment. Additionally, my appreciation for Orthodox art and music played a significant role in my decision; the aesthetics and spiritual depth of these expressions resonated with me, fostering a deep sense of belonging and passion. Moreover, I recognized my own moral failings and felt as though I was straying further from righteousness. By surrendering myself to God, I sought His guidance to lead me back onto the right path and to draw me ever closer to Him.”

Baptism of Vietnamese Christians from right to left: Ioann, Theodora and Emmelia at Our Lady of Kazan Parish, Vung Tau city Baptism of Vietnamese Christians from right to left: Ioann, Theodora and Emmelia at Our Lady of Kazan Parish, Vung Tau city   

In urban centers like Ho Chi Minh City, the Orthodox community has not only grown numerically but has also become a vibrant cultural and spiritual hub for Vietnamese believers. Regular services, educational programs, and community events cater to a diverse group of seekers, contributing to a broader discourse on spirituality and identity in contemporary Vietnam.

While challenges persist, including legal recognition and cultural assimilation, the Russian Orthodox Church’s presence in Vietnam underscores a universal quest for spiritual truth and fulfillment among its youth. As this movement continues to grow, it promises to reshape Vietnam’s religious landscape, offering a meaningful alternative to traditional religious practices and fostering a deeper understanding of spiritual identity in a globalized world.

Orthodoxy in Vietnam stands as a testimony to the enduring quest for spiritual truth and the transformative power of faith, as in Isaiah 40:31: But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

John Nguyen7/10/2024 7:15 am
Anyone interested in Orthodoxy in Vietnam can contact the "Sanctified Words - Vietnamese" fanpage on Facebook for support. Where you can find things related to Orthodoxy in Vietnamese.
Jerome7/6/2024 9:22 pm
I am also quite interested in any Vietnamese texts available. I have begun to translate Orthodox prayers into Vietnamese myself, as I am learning Vietnamese, but would gladly stop that process if translations already exist. I am beginning with the Antiochian little red prayer book, and can update anyone who is interested when portions of that are complete. Your prayers, Jerome
Thien-Minh Le Nguyen6/28/2024 9:11 pm
Although I am not Orthodox Christian, but I love to know that Are there Vietnamese translation of Divine Litugy? I hope one day I can be allowed to attend the Divine Liturgy in Vietnam. May God blessed my homeland, and may God blessed the Church many blessed years.
Fr. John Whiteford6/26/2024 9:05 pm
If there are Orthodox texts in Vietnamese, it would be helpful for that information to be put out there. We could use it in the United States.
Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding 4000 characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian.Com.
Enter through FaceBook
Your name:
Your e-mail:
Enter the digits, seen on picture:

Characters remaining: 4000

to our mailing list

* indicates required