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Religions in China

             Try to think for a few moments about differing cultures from your own. What comes to mind first? Perhaps it is the geographic location, or maybe you are drawn to differences in traditions. Possibly you even think initially about language barriers. Whatever it may be, most likely though, the first thing you compare and contrast is not the difference among religious beliefs. I can't come up with a concrete reason for why this is so, considering that there is an enormous variety between cultures, but an opinion is that we don't place a strong emphasis on religion today. We view religion as a respectible act, preferentially speaking, but we don't view it with importance like we do other practices within cultural traditions. Perhaps religion should become of the same status as the aforementioned aspects, but regardless of the majority beliefs, I personally feel it already is my own most important characteristic. Part of this is the reason for engaging in study of other such world religions. For the sake of assignment, I will deal with the numerous religions of China throughout the rest of this paper. Not just the naming and overviews of these four religions (Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Buddhism), rather the in-depth study of concerns and practices throughout past and present times. My goal is that through reading this, you will gain understanding of basic beliefs, but more importantly gain an understanding of difficulties faced due to faith practices within a different culture than our own. We live in a country where we are free to worship as we choose and often times we take that for granted. We don't even consider the fact that eighty percent of the world has to worship in private just to avoid persecution. Regardless of their religious beliefs, this is a terrible fact. It is true that myself, and most others directly around me are Christian, but this fact goes for all religions. In fact, I am more impressed with a devout Muslim than I am with a lukewarm Christian.

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