Facts about China: RELIGION

China Mike’s interesting, fun facts & statistics about Chinese religion:


China is officially an atheist state with one of the lowest percentages in the world of people who consider themselves religious.
[ Wikipedia “Religion in China” ]


Buddhism and Daoism (Taoism) are the most popular religions in China. However, there are also sizeable populations of Muslims (1-2%), and Christians (3-4%).
[ Wikipedia “Religion in China” ]


China has up to 300 million religious believers, according to a 2007 government-sponsored survey on spirituality and religion in China. The study disputed the long-standing official estimate of 100 million, a figure that has stood since the 1960’s. Buddhism, Taoism and Islam accounted for 67% of the believers.
[ The Washington Post “Poll Finds Surge of Religion Among Chinese” Feb. 8, 2007 ]



China will soon have the largest Christian population in the world, according to a government-sponsored survey. David Aikman (author of Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power, 2003) predicted that over the next three decades, China’s Christian population will grow to about 400 million, or one-third of China’s population.
[Great Britain-China Centre; The Buddhist Times “China will soon have World’s Largest Christian Population” April 1, 2009 ]



There are more Christians in China today than the entire population of Italy or the U.K. In an article published in the Great Britain-China Centre, Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, estimated the number of Protestants in China to be between 50-80 million.
[Great Britain-China Centre; The Buddhist Times “China will soon have World’s Largest Christian Population” April 1, 2009 ]


The world’s largest Bible producer is Chinese. In 2007, China’s only authorized Christian publisher celebrating a milestone as the 50 millionth Bible rolled off their presses. The publisher opened a new factory in 2008 with the capacity to print one million Bibles a month.
[ The Times UK “The book they used to burn now fires new revolution of faith in China” Dec. 8, 2007; Fox News “Chinese Factory Set to Become World's Largest Bible Producer” Dec. 7, 2007 ]


In 2010, China’s state-backed Catholic church ordained a bishop without papal approval from the Vatican. China and the Vatican have not had official diplomatic ties since the 1950s, when Beijing expelled foreign clergy.
[ BBC News “China ordains bishop despite Vatican objection” Nov. 20, 2010 ]



China is home to an estimated 10 million Catholics, most of whom belong to the Patriotic Chinese Catholic Church. However, this doesn’t include several million more Catholics who belong to an underground Catholic Church, which accepts the sole authority of the Pope in Rome to appoint new bishops.
[ BBC News “China ordains bishop despite Vatican objection” Nov. 20, 2010 ]

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