Hoa Hao. A simplified neo-Buddhist religion in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam with c.1 ½ million followers. It arose in Hoa Hao village in 1939 when an infirm Roman Catholic peasant, Huyan Phu So (1919–47), had a convulsive religious healing experience. He began vigorous teaching of the new faith in which he claimed to be the reincarnation of earlier religious leaders and uttered prophecies that were later fulfilled. As a militant and nationalist religion, it set up its own virtually autonomous government in the Delta and joined the independence struggle, but opposed the Viet Minh which captured and executed the founder in 1947.
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