Religious life is a bumpy road and both the 'successful' and the 'failures' need prayers, love and support
Religious perform an action song at a gathering in Thai Ha Church in Hanoi. (Photo courtesy of tonggiaophanhanoi.org)
You surely have noticed the hint of sarcasm in the Vietnamese saying Nhất quỷ nhì ma, thứ ba tu xuất or first the devil, second ghosts, third ex-religious.
Do you see something wrong when people compare ex-religious with the devil and ghosts? There are many unfair prejudices and blatant discrimination against former religious in Vietnamese culture.
It is assumed that former religious and priests, even if they voluntarily leave or are dismissed from their monasteries or convents, have done something terribly wrong to be pushed back into secular life. They are considered bad losers by many people, especially their relatives who see their failure as a loss of face for their families and clans.
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