Vietnamese in United States

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People Name: Vietnamese
Country: United States
10/40 Window: No
Population: 1,718,000
World Population: 87,374,200
Primary Language: Vietnamese
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Christian Adherents: 36.00 %
Evangelicals: 4.00 %
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, Australia, the UK, Canada, and the USA. The first Vietnamese in the US were translators and soldiers for the South Vietnamese government. After the fall of Saigon in 1975 they had to flee or die.
The United States is home to the largest number of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam. The Vietnamese make up the fourth largest Asian group in America. They are most likely to be found in California and Texas urban centers.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Because of an abundance of Vietnamese markets, restaurants, bookstores, and pageants, diaspora Vietnamese no longer depend on Buddhist temples to maintain their culture. They are more likely than another other Asian immigrant group to have their own neighborhoods.
Unlike most other Asian groups who came to the US, the Vietnamese often came with little or nothing. Though they have a lower educational level than most other Asian immigrants, the Vietnamese have thrived economically in the United States. They have a higher median income than White Americans.

What Are Their Beliefs?

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 Spirit-filled disciples.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to send loving disciplers to the Vietnamese in the US.
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