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Hinduism in China

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Hinduism is a minor religion in The People's Republic of China, with roughly about 130,000 followers and composing only of 0.01% of China's total population.[1]

History

Early Hindu influence

Longmen-apsara-near-jingshansidong

An apsaras from the Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, China.

Some examples of influence by Hinduism on ancient Chinese religion included the belief of "six schools" or "six doctrines" as well as use of Yoga, stupas (later became pagoda in East Asia). However, in China, Hinduism has never gained much popularity, unlike the beliefs of Buddhism and Confucianism.

There was a small Hindu community in China, mostly situated in southeastern China. A late thirteenth-century bilingual Tamil and Chinese-language inscription has been found associated with the remains of a Siva temple of Quanzhou. This was one of possibly two south Indian-style Hindu temples (115) that must have been built in the southeastern sector of the old port, where the foreign traders' enclave was formerly located.[2]

The Four Heavenly Kings originated from the Lokapālas. Hanuman is believed by some scholars to be a source for the Chinese mythological character Sun Wukong.

The Yaksha (Chinese: 夜叉) originally from Hindu history, are a class of nature ghosts or demons. Belief in the Yaksha made its way to China through the Lotus Sutra, which was originally translated into Chinese by Dharmaraksa around 290 CE, before being superseded by a translation in seven fascicles by Kumārajīva in 406 CE.

Hinduism in the Cultural Revolution and Beyond

Hinduism in China faced even more obstacles during the rise of Communism in China, when the Chinese Communist government discouraged any practice of religion, as it was considered anti-socialist, as well as a symbol of feudalism and foreign colonialism. During the Communist Cultural Revolution, a movement which took place from 1966 to 1977, religious people of all faiths were persecuted, and during this time, many religious buildings and services were closed down and replaced with non religious buildings for more materialistic services. However, from 1977 onwards, the government eased their restrictions on religion as the Constitution of the People's Republic of China was signed and many of the Chinese were allowed to practice their religious and personal beliefs once again. Even so, the government is still very suspicious of other religious activities, specifically if it involves foreign nations.

Many Chinese tourists visits Phra Phrom in Thailand to make wishes, such as the celebrity Deborah Lee.[3]

Hinduism in mainland China

Even though Hinduism originated within the Indian culture, the impact on China and Chinese way of life is phenomenal. WorldWide religious news states that the International Society for Krishna Consciousness has devotees in China[4].

Hinduism remains in Quanzhou

There is no Hinduism believer in Quanzhou now, but some historical remains had been here in Quanzhou for centuries, and became a part of the décor of other religions, for example, the famous Buddhism Temple – Kaiyuan Temple. Behind its main hall "the Mahavira Hall” there are some columns decorated by some Hinduism cravings.[5]

See also

References

External links

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