God-forsaken church by the sea

By Pham Van, Kim Thuy   July 19, 2016 | 07:50 am GMT+7
Watery grave awaits Catholic beach beacon!

Located around 100 kilometers to the south of Hanoi, Nam Dinh Province is said to have been the heartland of Catholicism before the word was spread across Vietnam hundreds of years ago by Portuguese preachers. It is still home to one of the largest populations of Catholics in the country today. Churches here stand out with bold silhouettes and strike both believers and non-believers alike. 

On the beach of Nam Dinh, there is a church that stopped receiving parishioners years ago. The abandoned church has instead become a go-to place for newly-weds and anyone with an Instagram account.

Named after one of the most worn out words ever, Heart, the church has been abandoned.

Known locally as the church of the "heart", it has been abandoned since 1995.

Though alone and stoic as it seems, the church used to be part of a complex of churches built on this very beach

Though standing stoic and alone, it used to be part of a church complex on this very beach

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Time and global warming have taken their toll, and Christian locals have tried three times to move the church inland to protect it from rising sea levels.

The wrecked church used to be St. Maria Madalena Church, built in 1943.

The church was named St. Maria Madalena Church, and built in 1943.

Whats left of the church is only the skeleton. All the inside has been damaged.

What's left of the church is only a skeleton. All the inside has been damaged.

When the tide is in, the church is flooded with up to one meter high.

When the tide is in, the church is flooded with up to one meter of water. When the tide is out, the church makes the ideal backdrop for any wedding photo or souvenir snapshot to take home.

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Photo by VnExpress/Le Bich

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