Many children of those who are detained are placed in boarding schools, where they study Mandarin and CCP ideology, according to a 2019 U.S. government report. Publisher. A crackdown on Falun Gong was launched in 1999 after the group organized a large, peaceful demonstration outside CCP headquarters to advocate the release of detained adherents and greater freedom to practice. Historical record and contemporary scholarly fieldwork testify certain central and northern provinces of China as hotbeds of folk religious sects and Confucian religious groups. Francis Ching-Wah Yip, in Miller, 2006. p. 186. Why has Peru endured so much political upheaval? [388]:149 A Parsi fire temple was built in Shanghai in 1866, and was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. [218] However, the term zōngjiào—instead of separation—emphasises communication, correspondence and mutuality between the ancestor and the descendant, the master and the disciple, and between the Way (Tao, the way of the divine in nature) and its ways. Folk religious movements of salvation constitute 2–3% to 13% of the population, while many in the intellectual class adhere to Confucianism as a religious identity. Tibetan Buddhists face high levels of religious persecution. In China, Buddhism (佛教 Fójiào) is represented by a large number of people following the Mahayana, divided between two different cultural traditions, namely the schools of Chinese Buddhism followed by the Han Chinese, and the schools of Tibetan Buddhism followed by Tibetans and Mongols, but also by minorities of Han. Shīgōng specialists practise masked dancing and worship the Three Primordials, the generals Tang, Ge and Zhou. November 30, 2020 International human rights groups, scholars of religion, and Chinese human rights lawyers have questioned such designations, criticizing the Chinese government for harsh repression against believers. [359], Christianity, especially in its Protestant form, gained momentum in China between the 1980s and the 1990s, but, in the following years, folk religion recovered more rapidly and in greater numbers than Christianity (or Buddhism). The Chinese state officially recognizes five religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism. [note 5], There has been much speculation by some Western authors about the number of Christians in China. The idea of the incarnation of God was not new, as already the Shang royal lineage regarded themselves as divine. [126]:20–21 Henan was found hosting the largest percentage of Christians of any province of China, about 6%. This designation remained in effect until 1991. [307]:189–190, 268–269 Confucianism promoted social stability, order, strong families, and practical living, and Chinese officials questioned how monasticism and personal attainment of Nirvana benefited the empire. Scholar Kenneth Dean estimates 680 million people involved in folk temples and rituals. Tsering Shakya of the University of British Columbia’s Institute of Asian Research says the fundamental problem [PDF] in the relationship between the Chinese state and religion is that “the party is willing to tolerate the emergence of religion as a purely private experience, but it is not willing to see religion expressed as a sort of collective authority.”, Despite Beijing’s concern that religious organizations may call the party’s authority into question, some claim that the threat to the CCP is overblown. The Pew Research Center estimated [PDF] that in 2010 there were sixty-seven million Christians in China, roughly 5 percent of the total population, and, of these, fifty-eight million were Protestant, including both state-sanctioned and independent churches. [254] The 20th-century expression of such religions has been studied under Prasenjit Duara's definition of "redemptive societies" (救世团体 jiùshì tuántǐ),[255][256] while modern Chinese scholarship describes them as "folk religious sects" (民間宗教 mínjiān zōngjiào, 民间教门 mínjiān jiàomén or 民间教派 mínjiān jiàopài),[257] overcoming the ancient derogatory definition of xiéjiào (邪教), "evil religion". Mediatory individuals such as shamans communicated prayers, sacrifices or offerings directly to the spiritual world, a heritage that survives in some modern forms of Chinese religion. Quote: "According to Dean, 'in the rural sector... if one takes a rough figure of 1000 people per village living in 680,000 administrative villages and assume an average of two or three temples per village, one arrives at a figure of over 680 million villagers involved in some way with well over a million temples and their rituals'. The state monitors daily operations of major monasteries, with facial-recognition cameras posted outside, and it reserves the right to disapprove an individual’s application to take up religious orders; restrictions also extend to lay Tibetan Buddhists, including people who work for the government and teachers. Under several Chinese dynasties, Confucianism was considered to be the state religion… According to the most recent demographic analyses, an average 80% of the population of China, approximately 1 billion people, practises cults of gods and ancestors or belongs to folk religious movements. Officials have said that party membership and religious beliefs are incompatible, and they discourage families of CCP members from publicly participating in religious ceremonies. [174] Because "religion" refers to the bond between the human and the divine, there is always a danger that this bond be broken. The first, "spirit", is in the sense of "human spirit" or "psyche". [58] Han theology focalised on the Yellow Emperor, a culture hero and creator of civility, who, according to a definition in apocryphal texts related to the Hétú 河圖, "proceeds from the essence of the Yellow God of the Northern Dipper", is born to "a daughter of a chthonic deity", and as such he is "a cosmic product of the conflation of Heaven and Earth". According to demographic analyses, approximately 13% of the population of China claims a loose affiliation with Taoist practices, while self-proclaimed "Taoists" (a title traditionally attributed only to the daoshi, i.e. Although the Tang emperors were usually Daoists themselves, they favoured Buddhism, which had become extremely popular. [320], Various Chinese non-Han minority populations practise unique indigenous religions. [262], Another category that has been sometimes confused with that of the folk salvationist movements by scholars is that of the secret societies (會道門 huìdàomén, 祕密社會 mìmì shèhuì, or 秘密結社 mìmì jiéshè). China is officially an atheist state with one of the lowest percentages in the world of people who consider themselves religious. They share elements that go back to the 4th century BCE and to the prehistoric culture of China, such as the School of Yin and Yang and the thought of Laozi and Zhuangzi. Since the 1980s, China has seen a significant growth in Christianity, and today Protestantism is the country’s fastest-growing religious group. Their progenitors were "sons of God", born by women who "stepped on the imprinting" of Di. [378]:135, Hindu texts were translated into Chinese, including a large number of Indian Tantric texts and the Vedas, which are known in Chinese as the Minglun or Zhilun, or through phonetic transliteration as the Weituo, Feituo or Pituo. [277] As defined by Stephan Feuchtwang, Heaven is thought to have an ordering law which preserves the world, which has to be followed by humanity by means of a "middle way" between yin and yang forces; social harmony or morality is identified as patriarchy, which is the worship of ancestors and progenitors in the male line, in ancestral shrines.[200]. This article is about religion in the history of China and religion in the People's Republic of China. In addition, ethnic minority groups practice distinctive religions, including Tibetan Buddhism, and Islam among the Hui and Uyghur peoples. Sassanid Empire. Since 1987, he and his exiled government in India have played a prominent role in garnering international support for Tibetan autonomy. The emperors of China claimed the Mandate of Heaven and participated in Chinese religious practices. Christianity was reintroduced in China in the 13th century, in the form of Nestorianism, during the Mongol Yuan dynasty, which also established relations with the papacy, especially through Franciscan missionaries in 1294. Jiangnan became the center of the "southern tradition" of Celestial Masters' Taoism, which developed characteristic features, among which a meditation technique known as "guarding the One" (shouyi), that is visualising the unity God in the human organism. Confucianism was harshly suppressed, with the burning of Confucian classics and killing of scholars who espoused the Confucian cause. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. Is Hong Kong Still Autonomous? Sacrifices to the aobaoes are made offering slaughtered animals, joss sticks, and libations. [382], Manichaeism had bad reputation among Tang dynasty authorities, who regarded it as an erroneous form of Buddhism. The statistics for Chinese ancestorism, that is the worship of ancestor-gods within the lineage system, are from the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey of 2010. [133] In 2018, the government published a report saying that there are over 44 million Christians (Protestant: 38M, Catholic: 6M) in China. [43], The Qin (221–206 BCE), and especially Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), inherited the philosophical developments of the Warring States period molding them into a universalistic philosophy, cosmology and religion. Worship is devoted to gods and immortals (shén and xiān), who may be fo… Theravada Buddhism spread from Myanmar to present day Xishuangbanna, Dehong, Simao, Lincang, and Baoshan, all in Yunnan, during the 6th and 7th century. “ Religion-State Relations and the Social Functions of Religion: The Status of China’s Religion Problems and the Reform of Its Religious Policy ” 政教關係與宗教的社會功能:中國的宗教問題現狀和宗教政策改革. [303], In the Shang and later Zhou dynasty (~1046 BCE–256 BCE), shamans had an important role in the political hierarchy, and were represented institutionally by the Ministry of Rites (大宗拍). The Buddhist schools that emerged in the cultural sphere of Tibet (藏传佛教 Zàngchuán Fójiào or 喇嘛教 Lǎmajiào, "Lamaism") also have an influence throughout China that dates back to historical interactions of the Han Chinese with neighbouring populations. Often, the state religion was integral to the power base of the reigning government, such as in Egypt, where Pharaohs were often thought of as embodiments of the god Horus. Xi has expressed hope that China’s “traditional cultures” of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism could help curb the country’s “moral decline.”. [378]:133–134 According to the Tamil text Śaivāgama of Pashupata Shaivism, two of the eighteen siddha of southern Shaktism, Bogar and Pulipani, were ethnically Chinese. [382] During the subsequent Mongol Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), foreign religions were generally granted freedom,[382] but the following Ming dynasty (1368–1644) renewed discriminations against them. The purpose of this book is to educate a Western population on the general state of religious life in China as a visitor’s guide. The state religion of ancient China = 古代中國的宗教儀禮 / The state religion of ancient China". They are shamans who acquire their position through years of training with a teacher. To quell dissent, the CCP restricts religious activity in Tibet and Tibetan communities outside of the autonomous region. [303] According to Chirita (2014), Confucianism itself, with its emphasis on hierarchy and ancestral rituals, derived from the shamanic discourse of the Shang dynasty (~1600 BCE–1046 BCE). Many ethnic minority groups in China follow their own traditional ethnic religions: Benzhuism of the Bai, Bimoism of the Yi, Bön of the Tibetans, Dongbaism of the Nakhi, Miao folk religion, Qiang folk religion, Yao folk religion, Zhuang folk religion, Mongolian shamanism or Tengerism, and Manchu shamanism among Manchus. According to the Chinese General Social Survey of 2012,[166] about 2.2% of the total population of China (around 30 million people) claims membership in the folk religious sects, which have likely maintained their historical dominance in central-northern and northeastern China.}} [391] As such, China has the most atheists in the world. Experts say most Uighurs do not support the violence, but many are frustrated by frequent discrimination and the influx of Han Chinese to the region, as they disproportionately benefit from economic opportunities. [312] Today, this school of Buddhism is popular among the Dai people, and also the Palaung, Blang, Achang, and Jingpo ethnic groups. Brand New. Detainees have reported being tortured, sexually abused, barred from practicing their religion, and forced to pledge loyalty to the CCP. Most of the missions belonged to the Omoto teaching, the Tenri teaching and the Konko teaching of Shinto. Didier has studied the parallels that the Yellow Emperor's mythology has in other cultures, deducing a plausible ancient origin of the myth in Siberia or in north Asia. Like the wu, the fashi identify with their deity, but while the wu embody wild forces, vernacular ritual masters represent order like the Taoists. The most prominent early community were the so-called Kaifeng Jews, in Kaifeng, Henan province. They did not proselytise among Chinese, and from this period there are only two known fragments of Zoroastrian literature, both in Sogdian language. [322], What distinguishes the bimo and the shamans is the way through which they acquire their authority. [153], Folk religious movements of salvation have historically been more successful in the central plains and in the northeastern provinces than in southern China, and central-northern popular religion shares characteristics of some of the sects, such as the great importance given to mother goddess worship and shamanism,[154] as well as their scriptural transmission. This secular understanding of Confucianism inspired both the Enlightenment in Europe in the 18th century, and Chinese intellectuals of the 20th century. Being well received by the population, even Confucian preachers started to appear on television since 2006. [ Wikipedia “Religion in China” ] Buddhism and Daoism (Taoism) are the most popular religions in China. [78], The City God is a protector of the boundaries of a city and of its internal and economic affairs, such as trade and elections of politicians. [12] National surveys conducted in the early 21st century estimated that some 80% of the population of China, which is more than a billion people, practice some kind of Chinese folk religion; 10–16% are Buddhists; 10% are Taoist; 2.53% are Christians; and 0.4% are Muslims. [60], In latter Han-dynasty description of the cosmology of the five forms of God by Sima Qian, it is important that the Yellow Emperor was portrayed as the grandfather of the Black Emperor (黑帝 Hēidì) of the north who personifies as well the pole stars, and as the tamer of the Flaming Emperor (炎帝 Yándì, otherwise known as the "Red Emperor"), his half-brother, who is the spirit of the southern Chinese populations known collectively as Chu in the Zhou dynasty. They draw out the ten thousand things". Various vernacular orders of ritual ministers often identified as "folk Taoists", operate in folk religion but outside the jurisdiction of the state's Taoist Church or schools clearly identified as Taoist. 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[261] All these movements were banned in the early Republic of China (1912–49) and later People's Republic. This was also the case in the Buddhist context, with many monasteries' names containing this element. Muslims are found in every province of China, but they constitute a majority only in Xinjiang, and a large amount of the population in Ningxia and Qinghai. Manichaean properties were confiscated, the temples were destroyed, the scriptures were burnt and the clergy was laicised, or killed, as was the case of seventy nuns who were executed at the Tang capital Chang'an. The first spiritual leader of the Holy Church is the renowned scholar Jiang Qing, the founder and manager of the Yangming Confucian Abode (阳明精舍 Yángmíng jīngshě), a Confucian academy in Guiyang, Guizhou. A further type of folk religious movements, possibly overlapping with the "secret sects", are the martial sects. The U.S. State Department’s 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom provides an overview of the limitations to freedom of religion in China. Human Rights Watch’s China director, Sophie Richardson, says that while religious belief in China is protected by the constitution, the measures “do not guarantee [PDF] the right to practice or worship.” Religious practices are limited to “normal religious activities,” though “normal” is left undefined and can be broadly interpreted. [277] This transformation of the self may be extended to the family and society to create a harmonious fiduciary community. [237] "Confucian businessmen" (儒商人 rúshāngrén, also "refined businessman") is a recently rediscovered concept defining people of the economic-entrepreneurial elite who recognise their social responsibility and therefore apply Confucian culture to their business. Taoism, both in registered and unregistered forms, has experienced a strong development since the 1990s, and dominates the religious life of coastal provinces.[294]. The research and advocacy group Freedom House estimated in 2017 that there are more than 350 million religious believers in China, primarily made up of Chinese Buddhists, followed by Protestants, Muslims, Falun Gong practitioners, Catholics, and Tibetan Buddhists. The folk religion of central-northern China (North China Plain), otherwise, is focused on the communal worship of tutelary deities of creation and nature as identitary symbols, by villages populated by families of different surnames,[150] structured into "communities of the god(s)" (shénshè 神社, or huì 会, "association"),[151] which organise temple ceremonies (miaohui 庙会), involving processions and pilgrimages,[152] and led by indigenous ritual masters (fashi) who are often hereditary and linked to secular authority. “Buddhism, Daoism, and other folk religions are seen as the most authentically Chinese religions and there is much more tolerance of these traditional religions than of Islam or Christianity,” says journalist Barbara Demick, former Beijing bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times. ", Overmyer (2009, p. 73), says that from the late 19th to the 20th century few professional priests (i.e. By the words of Stephan Feuchtwang, in Chinese cosmology "the universe creates itself out of a primary chaos of material energy" (hundun 混沌 and qi), organising as the polarity of yin and yang which characterises any thing and life.