Religion in China

Fast Facts and Religious Adherent Statistics
Population 1,397,897,720 (#1 in world) (2021 est.)
Ethnic Groups Han Chinese 91.6%, Zhuang 1.3%, other (includes Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai, and other nationalities) 7.1% (2010 est.)
Religions Buddhist 18.2%, Christian 5.1%, Muslim 1.8%, folk religion 21.9%, Hindu < 0.1%, Jewish < 0.1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 52.2% (2010 est.)
Unaffiliated 52.2% (2010 est.)
Chinese Religion 21.9% (2010 est.)
Indigenous Religion 21.9% (2010 est.)
Buddhism 18.2% (2010 est.)
Christianity 5.1% (2010 est.)
Islam 1.8% (2010 est.)
Taoism 0.5% (2010 est.)


  1. China.” CIA World Factbook.
  2. China.” Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project.
  3. China.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.
  4. China.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.
  5. Majumdar, Samirah. “Government restrictions on religion around the world reached new record in 2018.” Pew Research Center. 10 October 2020. "The Government Restrictions Index score for China – whose government restricts religion in a variety of ways, including banning entire religious groups – was the highest ever for any country (9.3 out of 10)."

Further Reading

  • 2018 Report on International Religious Freedom: China (Includes Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Macau).” U.S. Department of State. "Only religious groups belonging to one of the five state-sanctioned “patriotic religious associations” (Buddhist, Taoist, Muslim, Catholic, and Protestant) are permitted to register with the government and officially permitted to hold worship services.... Multiple media and NGOs estimated that since April 2017, the government detained at least 800,000 and up to possibly more than 2 million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and members of other Muslim groups, mostly Chinese citizens, in specially built or converted detention facilities in Xinjiang and subjected them to forced disappearance, torture, physical abuse, and prolonged detention without trial because of their religion and ethnicity."

Article Info

Title Religion in China
Last UpdatedFebruary 13, 2021
MLA Citation “Religion in China.” 13 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021. <>