Although Vietnam, a communist-ruled, Confucian country, has made significant economic progress in recent years, it still ranks among the poorer middle-income countries. Consumer-
oriented thinking and the desire for a higher standard of living drive people to the cities on a massive scale. The resulting process of upheaval and crisis of faith has also been observed
with great concern by the Church. ACN supports the Catholic Church in its efforts to restore stability and perspective to the faithful.
As a result of the rural exodus and growing migrant labour, traditional values and customs in Vietnam are increasingly being lost. While young parents frequently seek work in the cities, their children usually grow up with their grandparents. Against this background, in 2017 the Bishops’ Conference launched a three-year programme for the pastoral care of families and began to adapt its catechesis to social upheavals. Such challenges can hardly be overcome without new priests and sisters who are sufficiently trained. Our help for the Vietnamese Church therefore also includes stipends and training allowances, which predominantly benefit male and female religious and diocesan priests.
» The Church tries to be a home for families that are falling apart as a result of migrant labour. «
The Church is also concerned about religious freedom. Although the government has recently shown itself to be more tolerant of religions, the Bishops’ Conference criticised the 2016 Religions Act for not defining the freedom of faith and religion as a human right, but instead as a grace that must be requested. Due to war damages and climate changes, numerous renovations and new constructions of places of worship are still necessary. We continue to try to take these circumstances into account with moderate construction aid. For their part, many dioceses are careful to keep their own contributions as high as possible and to only use ACN grants for supplementary purposes. This is a welcome development, because nothing makes us happier than local churches becoming more self-sufficient.