The Southeast Asian country of Vietnam blends socialism and a distinct religious character. Its religious history has been shaped by indigenous beliefs interacting with the importation of a variety of religious traditions and the emergence of new religious movements. The Vietnamese government officially recognizes a small set of the world religions; according to the government's Decree 22 in 2005, for a religious organization to be recognized, it must have 20 years of “stable” operation. With sharp rebukes for faiths that speak out against the state's doctrines and practices, recognition is by no means a foregone conclusion, as the short list of official religions signifies. Currently, the Vietnamese government officially recognizes Buddhism, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Baha'i, Hoa Hao, and Cao Dai, as well as Pure ...

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