A long tradition of
and philosophy

From Confucianism, to Taoism, and Buddhism –
we invite you to read about the fascinating
story of China’s religions.


“If you are quiet enough, you will hear the flow of the universe.
You will feel its rhythm. Go with this flow. Happiness lies ahead. Meditation is key,”



China brings it with a rich tradition of beliefs, philosophies, and practices that are thousands of years old, and some of which are still practiced today by hundreds of millions of people across the country.






of deep Confucian influence



practice folk religions, including Taoism

The Religions of China

According to recent polls, the broad majority of the Chinese population, at 73.5%, are in fact religiously unaffiliated.
But, thereafter, 16% are Buddhists, 7.6% belong to other ‘religious’ organizations, such as various folk sects and the Taoist church, 2.5% are Christian, and 0.5% are Islamic. 

Regardless of how one defines ‘religion’ vs. ‘philosophy’ vs. ‘faith’ vs. ‘sect,’ it is generally regarded that Confucianism and Taoism, later joined by Buddhism, constituting the "three teachings," are the three systems that have shaped Chinese culture.

The Religions of China

See here the numbers that reflect the religious make up of China.

Han folk religion




Various folk sects and the Taoist church







The Spring Festival

One of the most sacred holidays for the Chinese is the Spring Festival,
whose celebration includes a massive annual migration to ancestral homes.
The famous red lantern is a symbol of this annual reunion, representing luck, prosperity, and happiness.



Confucianism is called thus after the 6th - 5th century BC teacher and philosopher Confucius (in Chinese:  K'ung Fu-tzu), who was said to believe that that a society could become perfect, if the people who lived in it exhibited "beautiful conduct."

In fact, modern Chinese society is still greatly influenced by the main principles of Confucianism. For example, one of its main tenets is reverence for elders—“filial piety” —which is both central to Confucianism, and is today at the heart of modern Chinese society, in many social and business situations – where the hierarchies are very clear and very well respected.

Among the other tenets of Confucianism are: loyalty, moderation, and righteousness.

To learn more about Confucius, click here..



Taoism, also known as Daoism, emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (literally the "Way”). It is complementary to Confucianism, but differs from it by not emphasizing rigid rituals and social order.

It traces its history to prehistoric China, having evolved through the centuries, with doctrines and associated practices having been revised and refined over time.

Its beliefs are based on the idea that there is one central or organizing principle of the universe (the Tao), a natural order, a "way of heaven."    

To learn more about Taosim and its classic symbol of harmony the Yin-Yang, click here.


Buddhism spread from India to China approximately 2,000 years ago during the Han Dynasty, which was deeply Confucian at the time. Buddhism, which emphasizes entering the monastic life to seek a reality beyond reality, did not naturally complement Confucianism at first – which is a more ‘down to earth’ system.

Buddhism was founded in India by Guatama Buddha between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. Its primary principles include righteousness, where people should be noble, pure, and charitable.

The Buddhist way enables people to escape misery and come to Nirvana, the final release from all suffering.  Where people should be developing their own character through control of the mind and purification of the emotions. The way to Nirvana is also achieved through meditation which leads to enlightenment. Another important concept in Buddhism is reincarnation and rebirth.

Buddhism spread slowly in China. However, the translation of Buddhist scriptures into Chinese is what ultimately expedited its acceptance and popularity. By the 7th century AD, the reigning Sui dynasty believed in Buddhism, where this period is said to be the ‘heyday’ of Chinese Buddhism, i.e. for rapid and great development.

Buddhism in China, as is the case with Taoism and Confucianism, also underwent many changes throughout the country’s history and was varied in its social manifestations and philosophical beliefs. 

Since its peak, Buddhism went on a decline, and today – as noted earlier, only 16% of the Chinese populace is recorded as Buddhist.

While most Chinese today are proclaimed atheists, Buddhism still has an impact on their world view, on how they perceive the circle of life, and the meaning of happiness and suffering in their own experiences. 

To learn more about Buddha and his teachings, click here.


18 points of interest

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