Source: Star Tribune
On February 10, 2001, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that, among the Hmong community in the Twin Cities, some have embraced Christianity over the past 50 years, "but many have remained faithful to
the traditional faith, shamanism...The Hmong are a farming people who live in mountainous ranges in
Southeast Asia and southern China. Refugees began immigrating to the United
States in the 1970s, after the Vietnam War ended...Today, about 11 percent of the estimated 75,000 to 80,000 Hmong in the
Twin Cities are Christian, according to Family and Youth Advancement Services in
St. Paul. [One shaman] said he believes many
Hmong initially became Christian because they were poor, and missionaries came
and brought food and clothing." He thinks shamanism will keep growing. Another Hmong "said Christianity has benefited the Hmong and 'brought the Hmong
not only toward spirituality, but . . . cultural advancement.' And even though many Hmong have become Christians, [he said,] religion
will not be able to separate the Hmong people. They will still eat the same
food, dress the same way, live the same lifestyle and continue to live among
each other and have the same political agenda." Another Hmong said he chose Christianity because it "makes one race accept and love another."
The article gave a description of a shaman from The Encyclopedia of Religion: "The shaman specializes in a trance state during which his soul is believed to leave his body to ascend to the sky or descend to the underworld. The shaman controls helping spirits in the sense that he is able to communicate with the dead, demons and nature spirits without becoming their instrument."