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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 09:10, April 13, 2006
Buddhism in China
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Buddhism has a 2,000-year old history in China. The country is estimated to have nearly 100 million Buddhist followers.

Apart from Buddhism, China's main religions include Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism.

Chinese mainland has 20,000 Buddhist temples and about 200,000 Buddhist monks and nuns.

The Buddhist Association of China is a national religious organization.

There are 34 Buddhist schools and colleges.

The country publishes nearly 30 Buddhist periodicals.

The various religions all advocate serving society and promoting people's well-being, such as the Buddhists' "honouring the country and benefiting the people."

Tibet is one of China's ethnic autonomous regions, and the Tibetans mostly believe in Tibetan Buddhism.

Since the peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1951, and particularly since the introduction of the reform and opening policies in 1979, citizens' right to freedom of religious belief has been carried out in Tibet.

In China, citizens' right to the freedom of religious belief is protected by the Constitution and laws.

Citizens of China may freely choose and express their religious beliefs, and make clear their religious affiliations.

In the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, freedom of religious belief is a basic right enjoyed by all citizens.

Article 36 of the Constitution stipulates: "Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief."

It also goes on to say, "No State organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion."

Again, "the State protects normal religious activities," and "No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the State."

In addition, "Religious bodies and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination."

Source: Freedom of Religious Belief in China; World Buddhist Forum

Source:China Daily

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