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COCOA amongst the Xtieng of Vietnam
By : John Dean (Vietnam)
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COCOA (Churches of Christ Overseas Aid), as a not for profit organisation has been registered in Vietnam for 2 years, to carry out Aid and Development Programs. The organisation is working in a province called Binh Phuoc, located on the Cambodian border, 150 Km NW from Ho Chi Minh City. COCOA is carrying out programs with an ethnic minority group called the Xtieng. The Xtieng, with a population of more than 67,000, live in four Northern Districts of Binh Phuoc, in Binh Duong province and in some parts of Dong Nai and Tay Ninh Provinces. There are two groups: Bu Dec and Bu Lo. It is the Bu Lo group that COCOA is working with. Once nomadic, they have been relocated to areas of land in the provinces of Binh Phuoc and Binh Duong. The area in Binh Phuoc in which they now live is devoid of rivers and streams and can only be farmed during the wet season, from June to November. The religion of the Xtieng includes beliefs in animism and the mystical power of the thunder, thunderbolts, heaven, earth, the moon and the sun. There are also a great number who are now Protestants.

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