Vietnamese Catholic Humanitarian Organizations Across US–Cambodia Borders
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This chapter analyzes how Vietnamese American Catholic humanitarian organizations have facilitated transnational ties between ethnic Vietnamese Catholics in Cambodia and their counterparts in the U.S. Ethnic Vietnamese Catholics in Cambodia have been structurally, politically, and socially marginalized from Vietnamese co-religionists in the U.S. due to the precarious legal status of their ethnic and religious identities. Since 2004, they have been able to engage in cross-border ties through the initiation and efforts of Vietnamese American Catholic humanitarian organizations. While collaborating closely with Catholic intermediaries in Vietnam, these U.S.-based groups have been working almost completely independent of the church hierarchy in Cambodia, which has perceived their presence as a threat to the church’s policies of “purifying” the church of its overtly Vietnamese elements.
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