I decided to use this photo, which I took in Vietnam a few years ago, because there is something about the Cao Dai temple which suggests a number of things about religious traditions that are important to note.

Cao Dai itself is an example of what we call a syncretic tradition--one which merges elements from a number of previous traditions, here in rather surprising ways (for example. the French novelist Victor Hugo is one if its most revered saints).  It appeared in the 1920s in Vietnam and has managed to survive despite war and the Communist government's antagonism to religious organizations.  Below are a couple of sites to check for more about its history and its teachings.
 Cao Dai Religion in Vietnam
 Official Cao Dai website

In considering what is required for a new religious tradition to survive, one thing is how it recruits and holds its members.  As you look at the material about Cao Dai on the web, think about why someone would want to join--and why someone would want to stay.

In looking at evidence that any tradition is surviving one indicator is its architecture--what buildings are being put up and maintained, and how the style reflects the beliefs of the group.  The Cao Dai temple is colorful, to say the least.  Look again at my photo, and if you want to see still more go to a collection of photos from  Professor Robert D. Fiala of Concordia University in Nebraska.