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Humanities Period 8

February 27, 2016


China Self-Identifying as Christian
Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism were three main systems of thought in Ancient
China. Confucianists believed in how to become an ideal person. Taoists believed mainly in the
simplicity within nature. Buddhists believed in the the path to enlightenment. As ancient China
became more modern, China was introduced to communism. Communism forced the people of
China to become atheist; the lack of belief in a God or Gods. Within that time, Christianity made
its way toward the east. It slowly assimilated people under its wing making China on its way to
becoming a mainly Christian nation. Although China became communist in the 20th century,
160 million people self-identify as Christian for several reasons: the people wanted to rebel
against the communist government and follow a religion, people can relate better to Christianity
than the other systems of thought, and people want to switch their systems of thought.
To begin, many of the people in China may self-identify themselves as Christian because
they wanted to rebel against the Communist government and focus on a religion. According to
Tom Phillips from Telegraph, the People's Republic of China is an atheist country (paragraph
6, line 1). The Communist regime did not place an emphasis on religion therefore, after this long
of a period, the people wanted to rebel and follow a specific religion such as Christianity. The
Peoples Republic of China has not exercised a common religion for the people to believe in, and
by not doing so, people have been deprived of worshipping a God and/or Gods. By forcing
people to become atheist, the Peoples Republic of China is fueling the anger within people to
rebel because the more you restrict people, the more they want to do the opposite of what is
enforced. The Peoples Republic of China is changing fast from being an atheist country to a
Christian country because many of the citizens seek meaning and spiritual comfort that neither

communism nor capitalism seem to have supplied (paragraph 6, line 1-3). The reason that
people follow a certain religion is to give spiritual meaning to their life. Without it, some people
are lost in their own land because it does not provide them closure for why things happen. The
communist regime took away the support and closure that people needed, which is why they are
rebelling to have the strength in religion back. Although the people are not going back to the
Ancient China systems of thought, they are spreading around Christianity, which will eventually
turn China into the largest Christian country.
People can relate better to Christianity than Taoism, which is why China might become
the largest Christian country. According to the Taoism reading, it states that Tao is the way of
the universe, the norm, the rhythm, the driving power in all nature, the ordering principle behind
all life (p.198, paragraph 3, line 2-4). The people in Peoples Republic of China did not relate
well to Taoism because in Taoism, there is no God or Gods to worship; it is only for you to find
harmony within nature. Because Taoism was mainly the belief of nature, the people wanted to
find a religion that worshipped a God rather than to find oneself in the pursuit of harmony. As
Tom Phillips from Telegraph states, more Chinese are thought to attend Sunday services each
week than do Christians across the whole of Europe (paragraph 22, line 2-4). Every Sunday,
people go to church, and now that the Chinese have assimilated the Christian culture into their
culture, more and more people seem to be going to church on Sundays. The Chinese can relate
better to Christianity than the other systems of thought because since more people go to church
on Sundays to worship a God, they have better accommodated to the new Christian culture than
the Ancient Chinese religions.
In addition, people who self-identify as Christians in China just want to switch religions.
Tom Phillips from Telegraph quotes Ms. Shi as she says, We have two motivations: one is our

gospel mission and the other is serving society. Christianity can also play a role in maintaining
peace and stability in society (paragraph 31, line 2-3). The people in China want to switch from
being atheist into becoming Christians because of the way that they will be helping society. Not
only will they be benefitting themselves as they worship Christianity, they will benefit the
society. By helping society, the people will make more people want to switch religions rather
than not worshipping any God or following the ancient religions of China. In Confucianism, one
finds their ideal self, which is not benefitting the society because it does not help other people. It
helps find what makes you the best you. In Taoism, one finds the simplicity in nature, which
also does not benefit society because it is simply discovering the balance and harmony in life.
Also, in Buddhism, one finds the strength in enlightenment, which does not benefit society
because of the emphasis they have placed on spiritual self.
In conclusion, there are three main systems of thought in Ancient China: Confucianism,
Taoism, and Buddhism. The three main systems of thought mainly disappeared after the 20th
century because the Communist Party took over China. The Communist Party forced the
Chinese to abandon their systems of thought and become atheist, the lack of belief in Gods,
during which Christianity was being spread through globalization. People in China now selfidentify as Christians for reasons such as the people wanted to rebel against the Communist
government and follow a religion, people can relate better to Christianity than the other systems
of thought, and people want to switch religions.

Works Cited
Oldmeadow, Harry, ed., and Huston Smith. "Taoism." Light from the East: Eastern Wisdom for
the Modern West. Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom, Inc., 2007. Print.
Phillips, Tom. "China on Course to Become 'world's Most Christian Nation' within 15 Years."
The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 19 Apr. 2014. Web. 21 Feb. 2016.