Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Sep 21, 2016 / 02:02 am
After 40 years, the first Catholic Church-operated university opened in Vietnam since the advent of communism in the country.
"The institute aims to enhance theological knowledge and competence among all priests, religious and laypeople," Bishop Joseph Dinh Duc Dao, rector of the institute, said at the opening ceremony according to UCA News.
There have not been Church-run schools in the country since 1975, when communist rule took over the country.
In 1954-1955, Vietnam was split between the North, which was ruled by communists, and the South, which had a Catholic president. For a 300-day period during that time, called Operation Passage to Freedom by the United States Navy, free movement was allowed between the (then) two countries. During that period, hundreds of thousands of people fled North Vietnam to South Vietnam, including many Catholics who feared persecution under the communist rule of the north, and felt safe under the Catholic president in the south.