The Vietnamese Catholic population in the United States is estimated to be over 300,000 or 30% Vietnamese American. The South Carolina Vietnamese population is at 4248. (Census 2000) Overall. the Asian and Pacific population in the United states is growing rapidly. Census 2000 reported almost 12 million Asian Americans which reflects a growth of 48% since 1990. This makes Asians the fastest growing racial group in the country. The Asian American population is expected to double by 2010. (Census 2000).
The Diocese of Charleston Vietnamese Ministry serves over 1500 Vietnamese Catholics. The Vietnamese Ministry offers masses in Vietnamese in Rock Hill, Greenville/Taylors, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach. There are two Diocesan events celebrating Vietnamese culture each year. The Vietnamese Marian Celebration attracts over 1000 Vietnamese from Charleston, Aiken, Rock Hill, Augusta, Columbia and Spartanburg. It is estimated that over 130, 000 Vietnamese Catholics died as martyrs from 1625-1886. Pope John Paul II canonized 117 of them on June 19, 1988. The celebration of the Vietnamese Martyrs is an annual tradition in our Diocese and attracts over 500 Vietnamese each year.
The small Vietnamese Catholic Communities in our diocese strive to maintain their traditions and teach them to their children. Vietnamese Catholics live in harmony with the Catholic Church with acceptance of its own diversity and richness.