An Influence of Foreign Culture: Hoi An and Christianity in Cochinchina in the 17th Century


  • Trieu Huy Ha


Vietnam, Hoi An, Christianity, Foreign Culture, Cochinchina


This article aims at attesting that Hoi An was one of the first Christian majority cities of Cochinchina in the 17th century. Emerging as the most hustling and bustling commercial port in Cochinchina, Hoi An easily got exposed to new culture from merchants and foreign missionaries, including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. The debacle of baptisation in East Asian countries led to the resettlement of foreign missionaries in Hoi An port. They eagerly evangelised and christianised various laypeople in this town. Moreover, the open-minded policy of Nguyen Lords encouraged Western merchants to forge trade relations and allowed missionaries to act without restrictions in their country in the first period. Thus, the first laypeople appeared in Hoi An under the guardian of Jesuit missionaries. Hoi An Christians were committed to practising their new faith in their new chapels. They complied with the Bible and taught it to other believers. Also, they were the first people that learned Latinised words which were the creation of friars. This contributed to hastening acculturation between Christianity and local culture. Consequently, Christianity widely spread southward and became a dominant faith in Cochinchina.


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