I find it interesting when the Western media talks about how Communist China prevents or represses freedom of religion as if that were unique to today’s China. The truth is, China has a history of intolerance toward God based religions that tend, by their nature, to interfere with Chinese culture and family based morality.
Religions like Buddhism and Taoism, which are similar, are not as aggressive as Christianity or Islam. That explains why Buddhism is the dominant religion in China today. Maybe that is why China’s top political advisor Jia Qinglin recently called on the country’s Buddhists to contribute to ethnic unity, social stability and national unification.
Buddhist and Taoist influence on art and poetry have been a powerful influence on Chinese culture and entered mainstream Chinese tradition more than two thousand years ago.
Estimates say that about one hundred million Chinese follow Buddhism while the second largest religion is Taoism. A few million followers of Islam live in the northwest. Christians claim to be the fastest growing religion, but there are no facts to support this.
On the other hand, a recent survey found that eight hundred million Chinese say they belong to no religion. That does not mean that these Chinese have no morality since Confucianism is not a religion but is a lifestyle.
Discover Barbarians – a Matter of Opinion
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.
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