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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

Jews and Judaism in China are predominantly composed of Sephardi Jews and their descendants. Other Jewish ethnic divisions are also represented, including Ashkenazi JewsMizrahi Jews and a number of converts. The Jewish Chinese community manifests a wide range of Jewish cultural traditions, and it also encompasses the full spectrum of Jewish religious observance. Though a small minority, Chinese Jews have had an open presence in the country since the arrival of the first Jewish immigrants during the 8th century CE. Relatively isolated communities of Jews developed through the Tang and song dynasties (7th to 13th centuries CE) all the way through the Qing Dynasty (19th century), most notably the Kaifeng Jews (the term "Chinese Jews" is often used in a restricted sense in order to refer to these communities). Unlike other places, the Chinese authorities had tremendous respect for Jewish communities and they did not face significant anti-Semitism in comparison to Europe and America.

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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

Islam has been practiced in Chinese society for at least 1,400 years. Currently, Muslims are a significant minority group in China, thought to represent 1 to 3% of the total population. Though Hui Muslims are in the majority overall, the greatest concentration of Muslims is in Xinjiang, with the significant Uyghur population there under a concerted State programme of suppression. Lesser but significant populations reside in the regions of NingxiaGansu, and Qinghai. Of China's 55 officially recognized minority peoples, ten groups are predominantly Sunni Muslim.

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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

Christianity in China appeared in the 7th century, during the Tang dynasty, but did not take root until it was reintroduced in the 16th century by Jesuit missionaries. Today, it comprises CatholicsProtestantsEvangelicals and a small number of Orthodox Christians. Although its lineage in China is not as ancient as TaoismMahayana Buddhism or ConfucianismChristianity, through various ways, has been present in China since at least the 7th century and has gained significant influence during the last 200 years. The number of Chinese Christians has increased significantly since the easing of restrictions on religious activity during economic reforms in the late 1970s; Christians were four million before 1949 (three million Catholics and one million Protestants).

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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

Chinese Buddhism or Han Buddhism has shaped Chinese culture in a wide variety of areas including art, politics, literaturephilosophymedicine, and material culture. The translation of a large body of Indian Buddhist scriptures into Chinese and the inclusion of these translations together with works composed in China into a printed canon had far-reaching implications for the dissemination of Buddhism throughout the Chinese cultural sphere, including KoreaJapan, Taiwan and Vietnam. Chinese Buddhism is also marked by the interaction between Indian religionsChinese religion, and Taoism.  

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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

China has long been a cradle and host to a variety of the most enduring religio-philosophical traditions of the world. Confucianism and Taoism later joined by Buddhism, constitute the "three teachings" that have shaped Chinese culture. There are no clear boundaries between these intertwined religious systems, which do not claim to be exclusive, and elements of each enrich popular or folk religion. The emperors of China claimed the Mandate of Heaven and participated in Chinese religious practices. In the early 20th century, reform-minded officials and intellectuals attacked all religions as "superstitious", and since 1949, China has been governed by the Communist Party of China, an atheistinstitution that prohibits party members from practising religion while in office. In the culmination of a series of campaigns against religions already underway since the late 19th century, the Cultural Revolution against old habits, ideas, customs and culture, lasting from 1966 to 1967, destroyed or forced them underground. Under the following leaders, religious organisations were given more autonomy. The government formally recognises five religions: BuddhismTaoismIslamProtestantism, and Catholicism (though the Chinese Catholic Church is independent of the Catholic Church in Rome). In the early twenty-first century, there has been increasing official recognition of Confucianism and Chinese folk religion as part of China's cultural inheritance.

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Published Monday, November 19, 18 | By PaulvHill

China has long been a cradle and host to a variety of the most enduring religio-philosophical traditions of the world. Confucianism and Taoism later joined by Buddhism, constitute the "three teachings" that have shaped Chinese culture. There are no clear boundaries between these intertwined religious systems, which do not claim to be exclusive, and elements of each enrich popular or folk religion. The emperors of China claimed the Mandate of Heaven and participated in Chinese religious practices. In the early 20th century, reform-minded officials and intellectuals attacked all religions as "superstitious", and since 1949, China has been governed by the Communist Party of China, an atheist institution that prohibits party members from practicing religion while in office. In the culmination of a series of campaigns against religions already underway since the late 19th century, the Cultural Revolution against old habits, ideas, customs, and culture, lasting from 1966 to 1967, destroyed or forced them underground. Under the following leaders, religious organizations were given more autonomy. The government formally recognizes five religions: BuddhismTaoismIslamProtestantism, and Catholicism (though the Chinese Catholic Church is independent of the Catholic Church in Rome). In the early twenty-first century, there has been increasing official recognition of Confucianism and Chinese folk religion as part of China's cultural inheritance.

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