Catholicism, present in Vietnam since the sixteenth century, was and remains one of the largest Christian minorities in Asia. Although the traditional heartland of the religion was in North Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of Catholics fled for the south after the partition of Vietnam into two zones in May 1954 and became an important anti-communist voice in South Vietnamese politics. Ngô Đình Diệm and Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, the two most significant leaders of South Vietnam, were both Catholic, and Catholics played an important role in positions of authority in their governments.

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