Chinese religion is not an organized, unified system of beliefs and practices. It has no leadership, headquarters, founder, or denominations. Instead, "Chinese religion" is a term describing the complex interaction of different religious and philosophical traditions that have been influential in China. Chinese religion is composed of four main traditions: Chinese folk religion, Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. When it comes to Chinese religion, many people have questions like: What do Chinese religions believe about God or gods, the universe, people, the spiritual realm, and the afterlife? What are the values, traditions, and ethics found in Chinese relgions like? Who are its influences? What are its leaders and followers like?
The religious outlook of most Chinese people consists of some combination of beliefs and practices from these four traditions. It is rare for only one to be practiced to the exclusion of the others. Please note that Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism are treated in their own sections on ReligionFacts. This section focuses on Chinese folk or indigenous religion, but reference is also made to the other traditions.
The table of contents below will direct you to various topics on Chinese religion, from beliefs to practices to history and much more. (Note: Category headings go to the home page for that subject.)
Beliefs, history, symbols, practices, and more of Chinese religion
Chinese New Year in London. Photo: lewishamdreamer.
Read about Neolithic China, the Shang Dynasty,
the Ch'ou Dynasty, the Sh'in Dynasty, the Han Dynasty,
and many more up to the present day.
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