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Yunnan Religions

Southern Buddhist temple

Southern Buddhist Temple

Yunnan is a religious resort well known in China as well as an important place where many world religions gather. Many religions are widely distributed among the multi-nationalities in Yunnan, including Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Christianity, Islamism as well as the Dongba Religion, Benzhu Religion and other minority primitive religions.

buddhist deciple preaching

Buddhist Deciples Preaching

Among these religions, the three branches of China’s Buddhism including Mahayana, Hinayana and Tibetan Buddhism are broadly spread in the middle, south and northwest of Yunnan, forming a special phenomenon that many religions gather in one place compatibly, which is rare in the world. They have made Yunnan an ideal kingdom with special attraction for pilgrimage of religious followers from China and abroad.

Religion in Yunnan (2005)

  Chinese religions, ethnic minorities' folk religions, or not religious (91.3%)

  Buddhism (6%)

  Islam (1.4%)

  Christianity (1.3%)

According to a demographic analysis of religions in Yunnan, as of 2005 the province has around 4 million believers of the five government-sanctioned organised religious doctrines of China, almost 90% of them belonging to the ethnic minorities.Of these:

2.6 million or about 6% of the total population are Buddhists;

620,000 or 1.4% are Muslims;

530,000 or 1.2% are Protestants;

240,000 or 0.5% are Taoists (note that "Taoist" traditionally only defines priests);

66,000 or 0.1% are Catholics.

According to surveys conducted in 2004 and 2007, in those years approximately 32.22% of the province's population was involved in worship of ancestors and 2.75% declared a Christian identity.

Most of the population of the province practices traditional indigenous religions including the Chinese folk religion among the Han Chinese, Bimoism among the Yi peoples and Benzhuism among the Bai people. The Dai people are one of the few ethnic minorities of China that traditionally follow the Theravada branch of Buddhism. Most of the Hui people of the region are Muslims. Christianity is dominant among the Lisu, the Jingpo and the Derung ethnic groups.

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