Religions, as Christians, Jews and Muslims practice them, have never played a “major” role in Chinese Culture and Politics. Even today, more than 800 million Chinese say they do not belong to any religion and the largest religion in China is Buddhism (about 10% of the population of China). Even during Imperial times, most members of government did not belong to organized religions. The same is true today with the Communist government.
China’s struggle with pagan cults (like the White Lotus Society) reaches back almost a thousand years. The White Lotus Society appealed to poor Han Chinese peasants and more so to women, who found peace in worshiping the Eternal Mother. It was believed that this Eternal Mother would gather all her children at the millennium into one family.
White Lotus Societies started out seeking tranquilly through a combination of Buddhism with some elements of Daoism (Taoism) and other native Chinese religions. Even in the 12th century, the Yuan Dynasty was distrustful of the Yellow Lotus Society, which didn’t fit comfortably with Confucianism and the five Great Relationships.
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