province of China is extended over a vast land, thronged with the largest
population of the world. The region also enjoys the status of being one of
the oldest civilizations, since then numerous religions grew and flourished
in this ancient world.
China is beckoned by the edification and rituals of mainly 5 religions--
Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and other Christian religions.
Confucianism - a reasoned doctrine rather than a religion, remarkably ruled
China for more then 2,000 years. There are also many other ancient religions
and beliefs followed by some ethnic groups. Chinese culture was perhaps the
first to develop an intellectual skepticism regarding the gods.
Freedom of Religious Belief
The Constitution and state law protects freedom of religious belief.
Respecting and protecting the right of Chinese citizens to freedom of
religious belief is the basic policy of the Chinese government.
Buddhism came to China from its bordering country India, in the 1st century
AD, and could flourish only after the 4th century. China has more than
13,000 Buddhist temples, with about 200,000 monks and nuns, spreading all
over the country.
Buddhism falls mainly into three groups: Chinese Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism
(Lamaism) and Bali Buddhism.
Taoism was brought into existence during the Han dynasty in China. The
Chinese philosopher, Lu Xun once said: "China roots deep in Taoism. If
one wants to understand Chinese history and culture, one must perceive
Taoism is also known as a traditional religion of China and has more than
600 Taoist temples throughout the country with 6,000 resident Taoist priests
Islam, which entered China in the 7th century, is followed by about more
then 17 million members. There are more than 26,000 mosques with 40,000
Islam immerged on the coastal lines of China cities during the Tang dynasty
-618 - 907 AD and progressively extended to other parts of China.
Arab traders, who came to China for the purpose of trade, settled down on
the southern coast of China and later established their mosques in great
maritime cities like Guangzhou and Quanzhou.
Catholicism was ubiquitously prevalent in China during the Tang Dynasty in
the year 635, later on its mark faded but again in the Yuan dynasty -1271 -
1368 the religion endeavor a comeback for a short period. Later, the Italian
priest Matteo Ricci, was authorized to set up churches during
the Ming Dynasty- 1368-1644. After the opium war, there was a rapid catholic
development in China.
Now China is home to 4 million Catholics, including 2,700 clergymen who
serve more than 4,000 churches.
Christianity includes Protestant, not of a Catholic or Eastern Church. The
religion was introduced to China during the 1930s, when there was a large
inflow of missionaries from the world.
When new China was founded in 1949, there were some 700,000 Chinese
Christians. Today, the followers of Christianity in China believed to rise
up to 6.5 million, including 18,000 missionaries. There are more than 8,000
Christian churches and 20,000 meeting halls nationwide. China also has about
48 religious seminaries and colleges, and almost 10 million copies of the
Bible have been published all over China.