The Conversion to Protestantism: A Challenge in Ethnic and Religious Life of Brahmanism Cham People in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam

  • Truong Van Chung
  • Center for Religion Studies, The University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City; crshcm@hcmussh.edu.vn

The Cham Balamon people in Vietnam are an ethnic group with long religious and cultural traditions, who give a great importance to preserving their own cultural identity through generations. However, in recent years there are many economic, cultural and social changes in the life of the Cham Balamon community.  One of the significant changes in the spiritual life of this community is the conversion of belief from Hinduism to Christianity. We think that this is an outstanding problem that needs to be addressed by formal and comprehensive scientific research projects. We have dispatched several research groups to conduct field trips, deep interviews and sociological surveys on the spiritual life of the Cham Balamon community. This paper is the first step of those researches pointing out the problems and challenges to the Cham Balamon community in Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. These are cultural and belief conflicts among people in the community or even among family members. However, we would predict that the biggest challenge is the risk of losing cultural identities that the Cham Balamon community is facing today due to religious conversion. Continue reading