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Chinese Religions

Religious Freedoms in China

Chinese religions have been highly controlled by Mao's communist party for decades.   During the Mao regime, it was hoped that old religious ideas would become obsolete while atheism would prevail.  Mao’s solders invaded homes, punished religious practices, and destroyed all religious objects. Although religion freedom has improved in China over the past 20 years, practicing religion in China is still restricted by the Chinese government.    

Officially Recognized Chinese Religions

The Chinese government officially recognizes only five religions:

  1. Buddhism
  2. Daoism (Taoism)
  3. Islam
  4. Protestantism
  5. Catholicism


Here are a few Facts on Buddhism.  Buddhism as a religion derived its name from a man called Siddhartha Gautama.  His disciples called him Buddha or the Awaken One.  Buddha was not considered as God or a supernatural human being.  He was a man who found answers and ways to deal with life's deepest challenges. He made his answers available to others which evolved to a sacred, social and cultural cohesion among its followers without including the concept of God as the creator.  

Taoism (Daoism)

Taoism's focus is the Tao which means the "way" or "path".    It is a formless power that brings things into being and changes them back to non-being in an external cycle.  As part of the Taoism Beliefs, the goal for the followers is to take no action that is against nature and to search for one's place in the natural order of things.  


Islam is the belief in God whose will was revealed through Mohammad in the Holy book called Qur'an.  The word Islam actually means peace through surrender or submission to God.  However, due to Muslim radical extremists, Islam is associated with terrorism and intolerance in the western world. Islam has spread all over the world.  A perfect example is Islam in China.


Protestants are followers of Christianity who believe that God is gracious and want to show love and favor by choosing to include all people in the divine reach and save them from sins. God shows grace trough the death of his son, Jesus Christ who died for man's sins.  Although both religions are part of Christianity, there are many differences comparing Catholicism vs. Protestantism.


Similar to other Protestants, Catholics believe in God, Jesus and the bible. However, where Catholics differ is in the way they approach these beliefs. According to Catholicism beliefs, the Christian story is told from a different perspective.  The authority is not only based on scripture (bible) but also tradition.