Vietnamese in Sweden

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People Name: Vietnamese
Country: Sweden
10/40 Window: No
Population: 9,600
World Population: 87,374,200
Primary Language: Vietnamese
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 9.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.80 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Vietnamese
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

For over two thousand years, people in the land of Vietnam have recognized their national identity. During those two millennia China controlled Vietnam about one half of the time.
In 1887 Vietnam became part of French Indochina. From 1939 to 1975 the Vietnamese fought the Japanese, French and then the Americans.
The communists under Ho Chi Minh overthrew the French in 1954. The Geneva Accord of 1954 split the country into North and South Vietnam along the 17th parallel. The US gave aid to South Vietnam. The US military withdrew from the country in 1973. Two years later the communist north overtook the south and "re-united" the country. Under state socialism the nation's economy floundered. In the 1990s the government began to allow market reforms and the economy has grown to become one of the leading economies of Southeast Asia.
People who worked with the South Vietnamese government were severely persecuted and had to flee. Most of the ethnic Vietnamese who left their country fled during the wars and in the 1970s and 1980s. Thousands of Vietnamese now live in France, the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK, and other European countries like Sweden.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most of the ethnic Vietnamese in Sweden are now acculturated, but they like to maintain cultural ties with Vietnam. They come together to celebrate their own festivals like Tet. In 2020 they established the Union of Vietnamese Associations in Sweden. This organizations promotes trade with Vietnam and comes to the aid of people suffering from natural disasters in that Southeast Asian country.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The earliest forms of Vietnamese worship were animism and veneration for ancestors. The Vietnamese worshiped the sun, soil, water and the earth fertility goddess Mau. The Vietnamese believed that spirits dwelt in the mountains, rivers, rocks, and other forms of nature. There were also spirits of their departed ancestors who needed to be placated and honored.
Later Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucianism thought made their way to Vietnam. These beliefs were incorporated into the Vietnamese form of animism and ancestor veneration. No matter where they live, it is common for the Vietnam to practice Buddhism blended with their old spiritual practices.
About one out of 12 Vietnamese claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. Most of these are Roman Catholics with a much smaller Protestant church.

What Are Their Needs?

The Vietnamese must see that Christianity is not a foreign religion imposed on them by outsiders. They need to see the love of Christ lived out among them by Holy Spirit-filled disciples.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to send loving disciplers to the Vietnamese in Sweden.
Pray for a spiritual hunger among the Vietnamese that drives them to read the Bible and listen to Christian radio programs.
Pray for a church planting movement that affects every Diaspora Vietnamese community.

Text Source:   Joshua Project