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    Monday, July 11, 2005

    Vietnamese Book


    I just started reading a new book--When Faith Endures--the story of Nguyen Van The.

    Nguyen Van The lived in Saigon and fought for the ARVN (or directly for the US...I'm not sure which) but also served as the bishop of a fledging congregation of Vietnamese mormons. The story follows his efforts at leading his congregation during the war. I will report more when I finish the book.

    On a personal note, I have had the opportunity to meet Nguyen Van The and many of the original Mormons in Saigon. He is a small man, but one who commands respect. I was awed to meet him. His story, as he told me, is one I've heard repeated many times from others in Saigon, Orange County, and Houston. He fought for democracy. Saigon fell and he sacrificed everything to get his congregation and family to safety, and then he spent years in a "reeducation camp."

    Every time I hear a story, whether from Bac The or another veteran, of the atrocities the Communists committed, I am sickened. This book adds to a growing genre of books by Vietnamese refugees remembering their journeys. It also adds a little knowledge to the religious side of things. The world is quite aware of Communist violations of religious freedom and human rights since 1975, and this book shows how people from a small Christian religion that is still not fully allowed to function in Vietnam survived.

    3 comments:

    VietPundit said...

    Thanks, Triet, for letting us know about this book. I'll check it out. A Mormon in Vietnam? Should be quite interesting.

    Thuan The Large said...

    I read this book when it first came out last winter and I appreciated the insight which it gave into the Vietnamese Mormon experience in Saigon. As a whole I think the book adds a new perspective to the refugee conversation although it lacks in academic merit and the writing style is somewhat stilted. I appreciate the efforts and life of Nguyen Van The and hope you enjoy the read Triet. We'll have to chat about it more when you finish the book.

    inMotion said...

    I'd write something here, but I'm in a hurry, so I'll get to the point: i find your blog quite interesting, and it's always good to hear a Vietnamese voice oversea, so can I put a link to your blog in mine? I'm from Such is life!