However, religion in China is actually considered pluralist. Meaning, religion in China is considered to be more family-oriented and does not strictly require observance by its members. This paper shall discuss religion in China, considering its application and the various practices seen in the country.
Considering the pluralist nature of religion in China, various authors and scholars define religion in China as cultural practices, not actual “religions” (Taylor, 1982). Nevertheless, in the popular and contemporary context, various religions abound in China, including Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, among others. Buddhism is the most common religion in China and was first seen in the country in the first century (Landaw and Baudian, 2003). The Chinese folk religion known as Shenism is however China’s largest religion as it encompasses various religious traditions (Gargan, 2001). Shenism is a combination of various ethnic religions, including Taoism, the worship of the shens, heroes, ancestors, Chinese mythological figures, and local ethnic deities (Gargan, 2001). In the seventh century, Christianity in China was first seen; it re-emerged in the 16th century with the appearance of the Jesuit missionaries. As the 18th century saw the entry of Europeans into China, Western religions were eventually introduced in the country (Hughes, 2005). More religious freedom was seen in the 1980s and Taoism and Buddhism became an important part of their culture. ...Show more