Phan Thiet diocese's territory covers the whole civil province of Binh Thuan with 7,799.4 square kilometers. The southern diocese borders Nha Trang diocese on the north, Da Lat diocese on the west, provinces of Ba Ria and Dong Nai on the south and sea on the east.
The country's second youngest diocese was carved out of Nha Trang diocese on Jan. 30, 1975. It belongs to the Ecclesiastical Province of Ho Chi Minh City.
Diocesan website: www.gpphanthiet.com
The population in the diocesan territory is 1,136,773 at the end of 2008. Population density is 146 people per one square kilometer. Ethnic Kinh or majority Vietnamese dominates among local ethnic groups of Cham, Ma Lam, Nung, Raglay, K'hor, Tay and others.
Brief History As early as the middle of the 17th century, foreign Jesuits introduced the Good News to local people. Local Catholics suffered from religious persecution executed by soldiers in the 19th century. Many priests, nuns and laypeople died for their Catholic faith.
Phan Thiet diocese was established on Jan. 30, 1975. Three months earlier northern communist forces had taken control of South Vietnam. The diocese then had 52 priests serving 68,110 Catholics.
Parishes of Kim Ngoc and Tam Hung that were established in the 18th century are the oldest parishes in the diocese.
The government has been eased its religious policies in recent years, so many churches have been built in local parishes. The local Church also has few difficulties in priestly ordination and reshuffles.
The diocese's top priority is to evangelize local people, especially ethnic groups, through health care, education and charitable activities.
The diocese's patron is Mary, Mother of God, observed on January 1.
Main transport in the diocese includes buses, motorbikes, boats and trains.
The diocese has two seasons. The rainy season lasts from May to October and the dry season lasts from November to April.
The yearly average temperature of the region is 26.5-27.5 degrees Celsius and the average annual rainfall is 800-1,600 millimeters.
Mui Ne is a popular tropical beach close to Phan Thiet city. Strong sea breezes make it very popular for kite surfing and windsurfing. Mui Ne attracts many domestic and foreign visitors annually.
Growing rice and fruit trees, and catching fish are popular among local people. The province is known for the fruit Thanh Long or Green dragon and Nuoc Mam or fish sauce that are exported to foreign countries.