In this country with over 1,000 million people there are very different beliefs and religions that live together
China is a huge country that welcomes over 1.3 billion people. The first kings and emperors conquered territories where societies with different cults and beliefs were slowly taking place in the empire’s religion and culture.
One of the most widespread practices from time immemorial is the worshiping of ancestors: families worship their ancestors who have died because they believe that this is how they can get their blessing and protection. This is why they make offerings of incense, food and simple objects in front of their portraits or figures.
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The religious diversity of the imperial era still exists today. In China there are Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Muslims … But three are the religions that stand out from the rest: Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.
The three religions co-exist peacefully and there are believers who take the principles and teachings that inspire them the most, even if these belong to different cults.
This doctrine takes after the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius, who lived between the 6th and 5th century BC. More than a religion, Confucianism suggests a series of moral principles and rules to live life in a spiritual way and in peace with the rest of people. His teachings encourage us to look beyond what we see in order to find beauty in all things, strive to achieve results and to learn from all the experiences in life.
At first, Taoism was not a religion but a philosophical system that arose from more primitive beliefs. This religion got its inspiration in the first religions that appeared in China, which worshiped nature and its ancestors. Taoism does not have any defined rules or ceremonies: you just have to follow the ‘tao’ (the “way”) and let yourself go by the natural pace of things. This is how Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism, defines it.
El Taoísmo nos enseña a través de Lao Tse. pic.twitter.com/INJpynNAfN
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Buddhism is the most important and the largest religion in China. However, it does not originally come from China but India. The Buddhist cult was introduced in China as new territories were conquered through the Silk Road.
2,000 years ago, an emperor from the Han Dynasty became interested in this religion and ordered its officials to travel to India to bring Buddhist texts and study them. As time passed, interest in Buddhism grew and temples were built all over the country. Buddhism practiced in China has also taken ideas and principles from other beliefs and there are different versions of it.