Religions in China

China is a multi-religious country. Taoism, Buddhism, lslamism, Protestantism and Catholicism have all developed quite a following in this country. Freedom of belief is a government policy, and normal religious activities are protected by the constitution.


longmen grottoesLongmen Buddhist Grottoes

Buddhism spread from India to China some 2,000 years ago. Chinese Buddhism may be classified according to languages into three communities: Mandarin, Tibetan and Bali. Most of the Mandarin Buddhist believers are Han Chinese while Tibetan Buddhist (generally called Lamaist) believers are people of the Tibetan, Mongolian, Yugur, Lhoba, Moinba and Tujia nationalities, and Bali Buddhist believers are people of the Dai and Bulang ethnic groups that mainly live in Yunnan Province. The Buddhist communities are the largest religious communities in China. However, since quite a few of Han believers are not always steadfast followers of Buddhism, it is hard to count their exact numbers. Read more information on Buddhism in China.

Recommended Buddhist Sites


Taoism is native and has a history of more than 1,700 years. Its founder was Lao tzu and its doctrines are based on his writings, the tao teaching. Taoism, a polytheistic religion, is still quite influential in rural areas inhabited by Han Chinese. Read more information on Taoism.

Recommended Taoist Sites


Islam spread from the Arab Countries to China more than 1,300 years ago. It now has more than 14 million believers among the Hui, Yugur, Kazak, Ozbek, Tajik, Tatar, Kirgiz, Dongxiang Sala and Banan ethnic groups. The Islamic followers mainly live in Provinces of Xinjiang, Ningxia, Ganxu and Qinghai in northwest China. There are also Islamic communities scattered in almost every city. The Muslims do not not eat pork, dogs, horses, donkeys or mules. Read more on: History of Islam in China, Mosques in China, Halal food in China and Islamic holidays.

Recommended Islamic Sites

A guide to Muslims in China


Catholicism and other forms of Christianity began to make their way into China very early. In 635, a missionary of the Nestorian sect came to China from Persia, the then called JING. The religion withered long before gaining a strong foothold in China. It was after the Sino-British Opium War in 1840 that the Christian developed rapidly in China. After the founding of New China, Chinese Catholic and Christian communities took the path of independence and self administration. Now there are more than 3.3 million catholic and nearly 5 million protestants in the country. Read more information on Christianity in China.

Recommended Christian Sites

In addition, there are also members of the Orthodox Eastern Church and of other religions among minority groups.

No religion has ever assumed a dominant position in China. Foreign religions, influenced and assimilated by time-honored Chinese Culture and tradition have gradually become religions with Chinese characteristic. Religious believers make up only a tiny proportion of the 1.3 billion Chinese people.

Hi, I'm Ruru Zhou
I updated this article on April 10, 2014
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Questions and Answers About Religions in China

sp 2013-05-01
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hello how are you how is china looks good to me might get a hoilday to china well thankyou and goodbye

China is amazing, with more than 5,000 years history and brilliant culture. Welcome to China.

Whitney Liao replied on 2013-05-05
Siboney 2013-03-07
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ummm..... Im doing a project about about countries and i have china and i need religions can you help me please what kind of religions are there??
Dear Siboney, We only have some information about teh religion in China, you could realize it on this website. Please click: Lussie Lu replied on 2013-03-07
Joshua 2013-03-05
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Hi im doing a report on China and Globla trade disputes, I have a question about the ethnicity Zhuang, it says that its your largest group and that they have certain beilefs that don''t relate to this wesites information. Do they Zhuang have a certain religous beleif and if so why is it not listed here?
Dear Joshua, We only listed main religions in China, different ethnic has its own belief and there are many kinds of believes, we are not familiar with each one and didn't listed it. Lussie Lu replied on 2013-03-05
tina 2013-02-01
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can you help me i am doing a project on china.
Hi Tina, what can we do for you, please? What kind of project are you doing? Whitney Liao replied on 2013-02-03
Victoria 2013-01-25
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Hi im doing a prodject in school for chiniese religion. And i just wanted to ask one question that i have read from other sites......some sties say that there are nuns for the religion Buddihism.. is this true?
Hi Victoria, yes, it is true. Whitney Liao replied on 2013-01-28
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