The majority Viet Kinh make up 88 per cent of the Vietnamese population. 53 officially recognized minorities, such as the Tay 1.9%, Khmer 1.4%, and Hmong 1% , make up the other 12 per cent.
The Tay, Muong, Thai and Khmer are the four biggest ethnic minority groups, each with a population of over 1 million. While some minority groups have assimilated into the Vietnamese culture, others like the Hmong, Dao, Gia Rai and Ede remain quite segregated. The different minority languages, traditions and lifestyles make it difficult for the gospel to spread and leave substantial populations cut off from any Christian witness.
But Christianity has spread through the northern and central parts of Vietnam and large numbers of ethnic minority people, primarily Hmong and Gia Rai, have turned to Christ. Ethnic minority churches were established in pockets of the Northern Mountainous and Central Highland areas. A few other minority groups are now responding to the gospel in small numbers, but many remain bound by ancestor worship and a world of spirits that must be appeased in order to succeed, be healthy, and avert misfortune.
Those who commit to Christ find life difficult on a daily basis. Christians risk losing employment, their homes, possessions, and in some instances their lives. They are often asked to renounce their faith and publicly engage in their former worship practices to ancestors or other spiritual beings as proof of turning back.
For people among all the ethnic minority groups in Vietnam to know God and receive Jesus Christ as Saviour – especially among the Tay, Nung and Muong.