Fighting the First Indochina War Again?: Catholic Refugees in South Vietnam, 1954–59
- Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 31, Number 1, March 2016
- pp. 207-246
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Vietnam War studies have often focused on the United States’ commitment to fight communism, but Catholic refugees who moved to the South after the 1954 Geneva Agreements were also determined to fight against Hanoi. In publications associated with these refugees, two fundamental factors explain their anti-communism: their desire to avenge their forced departure from the North and their opposition to atheism. An analysis of these refugees’ focus on uniting Vietnam and freeing it from communism sheds new light on the aftermath of their migration, on the political significance of religious faith and on the fashioning of a non-communist nationalism in Vietnam.