What is religion?
Religion is what people believe in, they can turn to it for help, savior, or someone to look up to. They always involve the worship of a supernatural being or power that can affect the way a human, animal, or plant lives.
Most religions have certain strict guidelines. For example, Christians aren’t allowed to have sexual intercourse before marriage, Muslim ladies have to cover their whole bodies with clothing to reduce adultery from men, and Buddhists aren’t allowed to be violent. What is seen as right and wrong is usually based on a certain religion's ethics, and that is why so many feuds, such as 9/11, the IRA (Irish Republican Army), which is the Catholics (Irish) verses the Protestants (British) in short, the Taliban in Afghanistan, who don’t let woman go to school, work, and they have to wear Burquas (helmet thing), and the Jewish population getting slaughtered in Germany in the second world war. But its not all bad, it gives people good guidelines to lead a happy life. The seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride aren’t specifically religious, even though they originated from the Christian bible, they are rules that everyone has to abide by in every religion to get along. Sadly, this isn’t the case, and very few abide by these seven simple rules.

service-cao-dai-temple-tay-ninh-AJM534.jpg


The Earliest religions in Vietnam
Mahayana Buddhism is based on mostly meditation and focusing. It dates back to the time of Christ. “Mahayana” translated means ‘The Greater Ox Cart’. This is because the required believes were more well known, so the religion accommodated more people. Mahayana’s didn’t start the Buddhist religion from scratch; they just incorporated a lot of different rules from other Buddhist branches. Buddhism is the predominant religion in Vietnam.

Confucianism is based on the teachings of Confucius, the chinese philosopher. It is a religion that revolves around human spirit and the deeds they do. It is originally Chinese.

===Current Religions===
Buddhism has remained almost the same since it was first founded in India around 300-600AD. Buddhists are peaceful people who don’t believe in violence or war, and they walk around in orange capes, similar to sarongs. Buddhism is the most common religion in Vietnam. Vietnamese practice both Mahayana and Theravada branches of Buddhism. Buddhism was introduced into Vietnam under Chinese rule.

The French introduced Roman Catholicism to Vietnam. It represents over one billion people around the world. It is the religion that spreads the message of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Vietnamese version of Catholicism incorporates Buddhism as well as Catholicism. The government only approved Catholicism in 1977, on the condition that it would be under a communist government.

These three religions together are commonly referred to as Tam Giáo ("triple religion")

Along with the triple religions, there was also another religion practiced by Vietnamese people, which is extremely similar to the Australian Aboriginals’ beliefs, where animism is practiced. This involves the beliefs of souls in general, be it in animals, plants, geographical objects (mountains, rock formations etc), everyday objects (hairbrush, car etc.) or humans. These beliefs are similar to another Vietnamese belief, ancestor worship or ancestor veneration. This is based on the belief that deceased families or people still continue to live along side living people, even though the living people can’t see the “ghosts”. The dead people can influence living people thoughts. The believers’ beliefs of ancestor veneration vary, where most believe that the ancestors are like any other god, where they ask for help and praise etc, where as the some of the others believe that they have to follow on with their parents work. Some believers believe that they have to provide for their ancestors on top of there living family, so they might put some cheese or other food item where they believe their ancestor is at the moment. What I am saying is, ancestor veneration is quite similar to Confucius and Buddhist religions.

this image shows Buddhists praying in a temple.
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Den/5908/religion/religioninvn.html
http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/BUDDHISM/MAHAYANA.HTM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucianism
http://www.asiarooms.com/travel-guide/vietnam/culture-of-vietnam/-religion-in-vietnam.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Vietnam#Religion_and_Philosophy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancestor_worship
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_examination
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandarin_%28bureaucrat%29