Religion in Vietnam

Religions in Vietnam (2017)[1]
Religion Percentage
Folk religion/Non-religious
Mahayana Buddhism
Roman Catholicism
The Great Buddha statue in Nha Trang.

Officially, Vietnam is an atheist state. Despite this, many of its citizens are religious. The three main religions in Vietnam are Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Sometimes, they are grouped together as one religion called the three teachings or tam giáo. According to many studies, 70-90% of Vietnamese people are tam giáo. 8% are Christians (mostly Roman Catholic) and 1-2% practice indigenous, animist religions including Hinduism. About 1% are not religious but have a strong Buddhist influence in their life.

Despite strong links in the older adult population, the younger population of Vietnam is quite different, with low numbers of young people believing religious ideas. The religious ideas that don't fit state thinking aren't emphasised.

The earliest established religion was Hinduism during the Cham Hindu Kingdom era. Later, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism spread. Today, these religions are grouped into the same religion known as the triple religion or Tam Giao, which has many followers. Later religions in Vietnam include Christianity and Islam. New religious movements include Hoa Hao Buddhism and Cao Dai. Hinduism is still practised by a small Cham minority who live mainly in central Vietnam.


Among the religions in Vietnam, Buddhism has the most followers. According to the statistics of the Buddhist Church of Vietnam, 45 million people are taking refuge in the three jewels and about 12 million are just Buddhist making it about 57 million Buddhists. There are two main branches of Buddhism in Vietnam, Mahayana, and Theravada. Mahayana is more popular with the people while Theravada being more popular with the Khmer people.