A practice developed in the Chinese folk religion of post-Maoist China, that started in the 1990s from the Confucian temples managed by the Kong kin (the lineage of the descendants of Confucius himself), is the representation of ancestors in ancestral shrines no longer just through tablets with their names, but through statues. The beliefs systems in China are called by some scholars as the thought system, cultural practices or philosophies. [44], According to Zhou Youguang, Confucianism's name in Chinese, basically 儒 rú, originally referred to shamanic methods of holding rites and existed before Confucius' times, but with Confucius it came to mean devotion to propagating such teachings to bring civilisation to the people. [323] While both are regarded as the "mediators between humanity and the divine", the shamans are initiated through a "spiritual inspiration" (which involves illness or vision)[323] whereas the bimo—who are always males with few exceptions[324]—are literates, who may read and write traditional Yi script, have a tradition of theological and ritual scriptures, and are initiated through a tough edicational process.[325]. [47], The short-lived Qin dynasty, started by Qin Shi Huang (r. 247–220 BCE), who reunified the Warring States and was the first Chinese ruler to use the title of "emperor", chose Legalism as the state ideology, banning and persecuting all other schools of thought. ETHNONYMS: Haknyin, K'e-chia, Kejia, Keren, Lairen, Ngai, Xinren Yet, Muslims virtually came to dominate the import and export industry by the Song dynasty (960–1279). The population had lost faith in the official tradition, which was no longer perceived as an effective way to communicate with Heaven. Since the 1980s, Bimoism has undergone a comprehensive revitalisation,[322] both on the popular level and on the scholarly level,[322] with the bimo now celebrated as an "intellectual class"[326] whose role is that of creators, preservers and transmitters of Yi high culture. ." Quote: "According to Dean, 'in the rural sector... if one takes a rough figure of 1000 people per village living in 680,000 administrative villages and assume an average of two or three temples per village, one arrives at a figure of over 680 million villagers involved in some way with well over a million temples and their rituals'. [334]:63 They worship nature and generation, in the form of many heavenly gods and spirits, chthonic Shu (spirits of the earth represented in the form of chimera-dragon-serpent beings), and ancestors.[334]:86. Chinese religions are polytheistic, meaning that many deities are worshipped as part of what has been defined as yǔzhòu shénlùn (Chinese: 宇宙神論), translated as "cosmotheism", a worldview in which divinity is inherent to the world itself. The strong association of Chinese Buddhism with concepts of the afterlife combined with the saṅgha's separateness to provide Buddhist monks and nuns with unique qualifications as providers of ritual services for the dead. This hierarchy proceeds up to the gods of the cosmos, the Earth and Heaven itself. They are shamans who acquire their position through years of training with a teacher. As of 2010 approximately 5% of the population of Macau self-identifies as Christian, predominantly Catholic.[163]. [388]:148 Fleeing the Islamisation of Iran, they settled in the cities of Chang'an, Luoyang, Kaifeng, Yangzhou, Taiyuan and elsewhere. Buddhist followers are mainly in the eastern provinces of China. The Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, who until the tenth century was mostly portrayed as male, gradually came to be visualized as female. Many descendants of the Kaifeng community still live among the Chinese population, mostly unaware of their Jewish ancestry, while some have moved to Israel. [264] Recent scholarship has coined the category of "secret sects" (祕密教門 mìmì jiàomén) to distinguish positively-viewed peasant secret societies of the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, from the negatively-viewed secret societies of the early republic which were regarded as anti-revolutionary forces.[264]. Indeed, from the elites' point of view, the movement was connected to a series of abnormal cosmic phenomena seen as characteristic of an excess of 阴 yīn (femininity, sinister, reabsorption of the order of nature). [277] As defined by Stephan Feuchtwang, Heaven is thought to have an ordering law which preserves the world, which has to be followed by humanity by means of a "middle way" between yin and yang forces; social harmony or morality is identified as patriarchy, which is the worship of ancestors and progenitors in the male line, in ancestral shrines.[200]. Aobaoes (敖包 áobāo) are sacrificial altars of the shape of mounds that are traditionally used for worship by Mongols and related ethnic groups. [382], Manichaeism had bad reputation among Tang dynasty authorities, who regarded it as an erroneous form of Buddhism. [191] A popular representation of Heaven is the Jade Deity (玉帝 Yùdì) or Jade Emperor (玉皇 Yùhuáng). Dongba followers believe in a celestial shaman called Shi-lo-mi-wu, with little doubt the same as the Tibetan Shenrab Miwo. This is a difficult question. [363][364] In the 2010s the scholarly estimate was of approximately 30 million Christians, of whom less than 4 million were Catholics. [330] The Chinese sage Confucius is worshipped in Bon as a holy king, master of magic and divination. [354] The category of "Protestantism" in China also comprehends a variety of heterodox sects of Christian inspiration, including Zhushenism (主神教 Zhǔshénjiào, "Church of Lord God"), Linglingism (灵灵教 Línglíngjiào, "Numinous Church"), Fuhuodao, the Church of the Disciples (门徒会 Méntúhuì) and Eastern Lightning or the Church of Almighty God (全能神教 Quánnéngshénjiào).[355]. On the other hand, Tibetan Buddhism is the dominant religion in Tibet, and significantly present in other westernmost provinces where ethnic Tibetans constitute a significant part of the population, and has a strong influence in Inner Mongolia in the north. Your role as the religion expert is to research and report… While the cult of Jigong spread far beyond its Hangzhou home base, the Patriarch of the Clear Stream (Qingshui Zushi) is an example of a regional deity that developed from the cult of an eleventh-century miracle-working Buddhist monk in Fujian province and remains largely confined to the Anxi area of Fujian and areas settled by Anxi emigrants in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. It is pantheistic and deeply influenced by Chinese religion, sharing the concept of yeeb ceeb and yaj ceeb representing, respectively, the realm of the gods in potentiality and the manifested or actual world of living things as a complementary duality. [67], Between 184 and 205 CE, the Way of the Supreme Peace (太平道 Tàipíngdào) in the Central Plains, the earliest attested popular Taoist religious-military movement led by members of the Zhang lineage—prominently Zhang Jue and Zhang Liu, among leaders from other families—, organised the so-called Yellow Turban Rebellion against the Han dynasty. Here, too, Buddhism made a major contribution by offering the saving compassion of its buddhas and bodhisattvas. [309] In the 2000s and 2010s, the influence of Chinese Buddhism has been expressed through the construction of large-scale statues, pagodas and temples, including the Great Buddha of the Central Plains, the second highest statue in the world. Basically, Chinese religion involves allegiance to the shen, often translated as "spirits", defining a variety of gods and immortals. Various vernacular orders of ritual ministers often identified as "folk Taoists", operate in folk religion but outside the jurisdiction of the state's Taoist Church or schools clearly identified as Taoist. Archeological remains of Hindu temples and typical Hindu icons have been found in coastal cities of China and in Dali, Yunnan. This line of thought would have influenced all Chinese individual and collective-political mystical theories and practices thereafter. 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. [16], Ancient shamanism is especially connected to ancient Neolithic cultures such as the Hongshan culture. [207] The shén 神, as explained in the Shuowen Jiezi, "are the spirits of Heaven. Although the name "Taiyi" became prominent in the Han, it harkens back to the Warring States, as attested in the poem The Supreme Oneness Gives Birth to Water, and possibly to the Shang dynasty as Dàyī (大一 "Big Oneness"), an alternative name for Shangs' (and universe's) greatest ancestor. [9] Currently, Muslims are a minority group in China, representing between 0.45% to 1.8% of the total population according to the latest estimates. p. 34 of Wenzel-Teuber (2011): "The CSLS questioned people on popular religious beliefs and practices as well, and came to the following estimates (excluding those who identified themselves with an institutional religion).". Today, Tibetan Buddhism is the dominant religion in Tibet, among Tibetans in Qinghai and other provinces, and has a historical and significant presence in Inner Mongolia (where its traditional name is Burkhany Shashin, "Buddha's religion", or Shira-in Shashin, the "Yellow religion"—黄教 Huángjiào in Chinese[note 16]). [147][148], Many scholars see "north Chinese religion" as distinct from practices in the south. Initially, the new government did not suppress religious practice, but, like its dynastic ancestors, viewed popular religious movements, especially in the countryside, as possibly seditious. The folk religion of central-northern China (North China Plain), otherwise, is focused on the communal worship of tutelary deities of creation and nature as identitary symbols, by villages populated by families of different surnames,[150] structured into "communities of the god(s)" (shénshè 神社, or huì 会, "association"),[151] which organise temple ceremonies (miaohui 庙会), involving processions and pilgrimages,[152] and led by indigenous ritual masters (fashi) who are often hereditary and linked to secular authority. [21], John C. Didier and David Pankenier relate the shapes of both the ancient Chinese characters for Di and Tian to the patterns of stars in the northern skies, either drawn, in Didier's theory by connecting the constellations bracketing the north celestial pole as a square,[22] or in Pankenier's theory by connecting some of the stars which form the constellations of the Big Dipper and broader Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor (Little Dipper). [259] They include[260] Yiguandao and other sects belonging to the Xiantiandao (先天道 "Way of Former Heaven"), Jiugongdao (九宮道 "Way of the Nine Palaces"), the various branches of Luoism, Zailiism, and more recent ones such as the Church of Virtue, Weixinism, Xuanyuanism and Tiandiism. This tradition includes veneration of forces of nature and ancestors, exorcism of harmful forces, and a belief that a rational order structures the universe, and such order may be influenced by human beings and their rulers. In accordance with the Master, they identified mental tranquility as the state of Tian, or the One (一 Yī), which in each individual is the Heaven-bestowed divine power to rule one's own life and the world. Confucianism originated during the Spring and Autumn period and developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE),[275] to match the developments in Buddhism and Taoism which were dominant among the populace. [378]:128–129 In the Sui (581–618) and later Tang dynasty (618–907), Hindu texts translated into Chinese included the Śulvasūtra, the Śulvaśāstra and the Prescriptions of Brahmin Rishis. One scholar concludes that statistics on religious believers in China "cannot be accurate in a real scientific sense", since definitions of "religion" exclude people who do not see themselves as members of a religious organisation but are still "religious" in their daily actions and fundamental beliefs. Encyclopedia of Buddhism. In 1956 a national organisation, the Chinese Taoist Association, was established to govern the activity of Taoist orders and temples. [265][266] In Taiwan, virtually all folk salvationist movements operate freely since the late 1980s. [317]:42, Nichiren Buddhism, a denomination of the Buddhist religion that was founded in Japan in the 13th century, has been spreading in China in the 21st century in the form of the Soka Gakkai (in Chinese: 创价学会 Chuàngjià xuéhuì). Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Among the ancient Chinese, the God of the Zhou dynasty appeared to have been an ancestor of the ruling house. [90] Sun Yat-sen, the first president of the Republic of China, and his successor Chiang Kai-shek, were both Christians. 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