The century of Vietnamese Christianity under consideration falls within the rule of the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945) at whose hands it suffered the longest and bloodiest persecutions. Moreover, it was during the Nguyen dynasty that France colonised Vietnam, and its rule, which began in 1862, lasted until 1954. Hence, this period of the history of Vietnamese Christianity also partially overlaps with the history of French colonisation of Vietnam and must be considered in relation to it.
Vietnamese Christianity was born duringthe turbulent seventeenth century, and its fortunes in the next two centuries ebbed and flowed with the changing policies of the Trinh and the Nguyen lords. Although the Le dynasty was still the official ruler of the country in the seventeenth century, Vietnam was de facto divided into two parts and was ruled by two rival families, the Trinh and the Nguyen, the former in the north and the latter in the south. The Trinh
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