Duong Thanh Liem Vietnam I am honored to tell you my story. It is also a great honor to me that you have an interest in our experience coming to this country and that you would like to find out about our religion. We know that the United States is a place that accepts everybody in the world, like a salad bowl. Is that what you say? We think that because CaoDaism is a religion that teaches acceptance and tolerance of people of all religions, so this place would be good for it to grow. What we teach is compassion and kindness for everyone. My father was a priest at the Great CaoDaist Temple in Tay Ninh province in South Vietnam. I was born in Chau Doc but moved to Tay Ninh to be with my father and to officially initiate myself into the church. I finished school and served time in the military. Serving the country is part of our duty to the church so after I was done with that I began my studies at the temple. Eventually I followed my father’s footsteps and decided to devote my life to God. In the beginning the CaoDaists organized as a religion but also were active in their opposition to the French presence in Vietnam. The founders wrote a constitution and founded a military force in preparation for independence. After 1975 as a part of the CaoDai, I was subject to even greater suspicion and given a longer prison term. I was taken from Tay Ninh that same year and sent to a prison in Hanoi. I was held there until 1984, almost ten years. My wife and children were on their own all of that time. It was my faith in God that helped me live through those years. It was in June of 1992 that we were able to leave Vietnam and come to the United States. Yes, it was due to the generosity of the U.S. government that I was able to bring my family here to Seattle. I brought my wife, my two sons, and then a third son was born here. When we arrived, we rented an empty apartment to worship in. Each member of the community contributed money to pay the rent. Now we worship here; my son owns this house, and due to his generosity we were able to build this little temple on the property. We all share the expenses: one of us buys the flowers every week, another the fruit and the incense. We are old now and without too much money, so we are thankful to my son. There are not too many CaoDaists here; we are a small community, maybe a few hundred people. We dream that someday we will have our own temple to expand into, and be able to invite more people to join us.