Anam or Annam

Anam or Annam an empire of Farther India. The statements of its extent and population greatly differ. The latter amounts, according to the report of the missionaries, to more than twenty millions, while many geographers give to all Farther India not more than fifteen millions. It is divided into four different realms: Tonkin, Cochin China, Cambodia, and Laos. Most of the inhabitants profess Buddhism, although also the Kami religion, which before the spreading of Buddhism prevailed in all Farther India, still has adherents. Anam is one of the principal missionary fields of the Roman Church. The first misstons were: establisied by Spanisi Dominicans, who came from the Philippine Islands, more than 200 years ago, and they have survived to the present day, in spite of frequent and cruel persecutions. Especially since 1820 the persecution has raged with great intensity, and thousands of Christians have been either put to death or forced into apostasy. In 1858 France and Spain sent a joint expedition against Cochin China, which, in September of that year, conquered the fort and the bay of Turon. The war continued until 1862, when the power of the emperor of Anam was so completely broken that he made overtures for the cessation of hostilities. On June 5, 1862, a treaty of peace was signed, by which the provinces of Saigon, Bienhoa, and Mytho were ceded to France; three ports of Tonkin were opened to commerce; the other provinces of Lower Cochin China not ceded to France were to reserve only such number of troops as the French government should permit; Christianity was, to be tolerated, and the Christians protected in their lives and property throughout the empire. In 1863 the French concluded a special treaty with the king .of Cambodia, by which this whole kingdom was placed ,under the protectorate of France, and liberal stipula:tions were made in favor of Roman Catholic missionaries. The Roman Church had, in 1859, eight vicariates apostolic, viz.:

1. Eastern Tonkin; 2. Middle Tonkin; 3. Western Tonkin; 4. South Tonkin; 5. North Cochin China; 6. Eastern Cochin China; 7. Western Cochin China; 8. Cambodia.

The first two are under the administration of Spanish Dominicans, the others under that of French Lazarists. The number of native converts was estimated in 1854 at about 500,000 or 600,000, but has since considerably decreased, in consequence of the persecution. The number of the native priests amounted to about 300, and there were also numerous congregations of native nuns. In 1859 the letters of several missionaries represented the churches of Tonkin and Cochin China as being almost a complete wreck. — Wetzer and Welte. s. vv. Tunkin and Asien (in vol. 12); Schem, Ecclesiastical Yearbook; Annual American Encyclop. 1862, p. 224; 1863, p. 148. SEE INDIA.

 
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