China is a country with a great diversity of religious beliefs, mainly Taoism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and Christianity. According to incomplete statistics, China boasts over 100,000,000 religious believers, 85,000 religious venues and 3,000 religious groups and 300,000 ecclesiastics.
As the only indigenous China religion, Taoist School was initially founded by Laotze in the Spring and Autumn Period, followed by Immortal School in the Warring States Period. During the Qin and the Han dynasties, the Magic and Immortality School and Huang-Lao School, based on Taoist School and Immortal School, were successively set up by absorbing thoughts of Yin-Yang School, Confucian School and Mohism, and it was not until the Eastern Han dynasty that Taoism was officially set up by Zhang Daoling.
Emperor Ming dispatched high-learnt monks to make pilgrimage to India for Buddhist Sutra during Yongping Period of the Eastern Han dynasty, since when the Buddhism was introduced into China.
The people from all walks of life extensively seek for spiritual belief from Buddhism owing to social upheaval during the Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern dynasties, resulting in the prevalence of Buddhism, which was greatly influenced by metaphysics. Great progress was made in Buddhism owing to the profound tolerance of Confucian culture and Taoism, and it was greatly localized as well as a part of traditional Chinese culture then, which contributed a lot to the integration of Chinese culture (a perfect combination of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism).
Nestorianism was introduced into China in the Tang dynasty, followed by Christianity and western scientific technology in the Yuan dynasty, and Christianity was greatly localized to adjust itself to the Chinese Confucian culture. The Roman pope forbade the Chinese Christian believers to offer sacrifice to heaven and their ancestors during the Qing dynasty, as a result, Emperor Yongzheng forbade all the Christian activities in China. The western invaders opened the gate of China with strong military attacks in 1840, followed by numerous missionaries flooding into China, who contributed a lot to the prosperity of Christianity in China later.
The uncle of Mohammed was sent to China on a diplomatic mission in the Tang dynasty, who founded the first mosque in China – Huaisheng Mosque. The Chinese Muslims controlled export & import business and had a substantial influence on imperial court during the Song dynasty. The descendants of the earlier Muslims integrated into the Han people in terms of language and folk customs in the Ming dynasty, among whom the most famous figure was Zheng He who took the lead to build Hanbali Mosque in Beijing. The main Moslemic groups in China include the Hui ethnic group, Uzbek ethnic group and Uyghur ethnic group.