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Daoism (Taoism)

Daoism is the only major religion that came from Chinese roots and grew to maturity in Chinese soil. It originated at the end of Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 A.D.) and is based on ancient witchcraft and formulas of immortality. Taoists regard Lao Zi (Lao Tzu) as the founder and supreme god of Daoism, and Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching), a profound book of only five thousand Chinese characters by Lao Zi as the believer's canon.

  The word "Dao" (Tao) is translated as "the way". In its broadest sense, Dao is the way the universe functions, the path taken by all natural events. Dao is nature's way, expressed in effortless action. Within the Dao, the two elementary powers, Yin and Yang, function by reciprocal action. Daoism stresses the union of man and nature, suggesting that man control his environment not by fighting it but by cooperating with it. Daoism was associated with alchemy, which was at one time a practical way of seeking elixir of life, by the transmutation of base matter into gold. The idea of "Wu Wei", sometimes translated as "action by non-action", was a central tenet of Daoism. Wu Wei means not so much inactivity as doing nothing out of harmony with the flow of things.


Buddhism was introduced into the regions inhabited by the Han people, the largest ethnic group in China, about the first century A.D. There are two types of Buddhism in China, Mahayana Buddhism and Hinayana Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism reached its peak of popularity during the Sui and Tang Dynasties (581-907). Mahayana Buddhism stresses the existence of many Buddhas. It focuses attention on Buddhas in heaven and on people who will become Buddhas in the future. It believes that these present and future Buddhas can save people through compassion and grace. Hinayana Buddhism was introduced from Burma, about the 9th century A.D. It emphasizes the importance of Buddha as a historical figure, the virtues of monastic life, and the authority of the Tripitaka. Lamaism, a form of Buddhism intermingled with indigenous Tibetan religion known as Bon, is widespread in Tibet and Inner Mongolia. Lamaism mainly gained its Buddhist knowledge from Han Mahayana Buddhist sources. Of the various sects that eventually developed within Lamaist Buddhism, the main ones are Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, Bon, and Gelug.


Islam arose in China's coastal cities in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 A.D.) and spread to many other areas with the return of the Mongolian army from its expedition to the west and the migration of Islamites from Central Asia in the 13th century.

The introduction of Catholicism and Protestantism to China followed Buddhism and Islam, with less influence.

  Religious Services

Officially, the People's Republic of China encourages atheism. However, the dominant religion in China is Buddhism, with Buddhist temples and places of worship throughout the country. Daoist temples can also be found, as are mosques in Muslim areas and in all large cities, which have regular prayers at the prescribed times. Catholic and Protestant churches can also be found in most big cities.

Offering detailed information of climate of China's main cities as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Guilin and more...


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