Bùi Hoài Sơn, professor and Director of the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts, in Viet Nam News (April 19, 2021)
Summary by Alejandro Reyes (Photo credit: Wagner T Cassimiro “Aranha”)
Social development leads to a number of consequences that make many people feel insecure, anxious and turn to religious beliefs as a consolation. Many individuals and organizations have built spiritual tourist sites, creating spiritual activities to fill that need. Also increasing this need is the impact of new media (social networks) in disseminating information and creating online communities to connect religious and spiritual practices.
This practice has both positive and negative consequences. The positive thing is that the spiritual beliefs and practices help people be more determined in their work. Practicing religion is also part of traditional culture. Traditional cultural values are thereby maintained and strengthened by Vietnamese society as the country integrates into the global system.
There are some negative consequences, as it leads to the restoration of unsound customs and pushes some people to superstition, adversely affecting the spiritual and material life of each individual and family. A lot of scammers take advantage of beliefs and spirituality for profit, and many highly educated people still believe in superstition.
The boundary between religious practice, belief and superstition is quite fragile. Religion and belief contain many good values. Each person's life will become happier and more worthy of living by pursuing the values that religion and beliefs bring. To properly practice religions or a belief, we need to first understand the nature of it.
Religion or belief teaches people to think well, live well, and do good things for others. When we do that, society will certainly be good. When we practice the right religion and belief, we will create a lifestyle that respects the traditions in the family. Other factors, without scientific basis, are not the nature of religion or belief, and therefore, are not conducive to individual personal development and should be removed from social life.