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Chinese Religions and Beliefs

The main influences in China are from the philosophies and beliefs of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. The distinguishing line between philosophy, religions, and in some cases even superstition is hard to ascertain without deeper understanding of the theories, by their role in history is not to be underestimated, and understanding of these areas may lead to a deeper understanding of this nation.During the period where China was as a country as big as continent and rivaled the most advanced cultures in historical

antiquity and cultural pluralism, Confucianism and Taoism were the predominant religions, with Buddhism struggling to find adherents until the 2nd century AD. Confucianism has always been the main philosophy guiding Chinese behaviors and government. Buddhism, the fourth largest religion in the world, being exceeded in numbers only by Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, entered China a few centuries after the passing away of the Buddha. China's own philosophies accept freedom of religions and there is a belief that religions should promote universal harmony, and not hatred or disagreement. Chinese philosophies

and religions, being so steeped in history is very complicated and difficult to summarize, but there is no creed of violence or invasiveness rooted in this area. Islam was introduced to China in the mid-7th century. Many Chinese Muslims are descended from Persian and Central Asian merchants who travelled to China between the 7th and 13th centuries. ChristianityChina was visited by Nestorian Christians as early as the 7th century. The Jesuits found their way there in the 1670s, and the first protestant missionary arrived in 1807. Today, there are an estimated 4 million Catholics and 10 million Protestants in China.

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