The Caodai Mother Goddess in Diasporic Disjunctures
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Unlike Marian worship among Vietnamese Catholics in the U.S. and Cambodia, devotion to the Caodai Mother Goddess has not facilitated reconnection between Vietnamese Caodaists in these countries. Through the revival of Caodai Mother Goddess worship, U.S.-based Vietnamese Caodaists have claimed themselves as the true chosen leaders of Caodaism. They have protected the religion from communist control in Vietnam and have the responsibility to spread it throughout the world. However, because of religious racialization in the Christian-majority U.S. (which misconstrues the religion as a Vietnam-bounded practice despite its global aspirations), Vietnamese American Caodaists have not been able to successfully assert their claim and internal divisions from Vietnam have resurfaced, as well as new politically motivated divisions related to opposing communism. This in turn has weakened their efforts to re-establish relations with ethnic co-religionists in Cambodia.
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