Chinese Religion

Chinese Religion It is hardly possible to speak of one religion in so extended a country as China. There are four principal religious beliefs which are distinguishable, although related to each other. The purest is that of Koni-fu-tse or Confucius (q.v.). This faith is professed by the learned, and is better designated as a philosophic system of morals than as a religion. The second is that of Lao-tse or Lao-kvun (q.v.), whose priests exert a powerful influence over. the people by their prophecies and soothsayings; hence it is the popular religion. The third is called the religion of Fo, although it might, perhaps, more justly be called the religion of Buddha (q.v.), as it is a Buddhist religion modified to suit the Chinese. Both these. latter forms are younger than the religion of Confucius. The real religion of the court is that of Lama (q.v.), which. is also generally accepted by the Manchoorians or Tartars. All these sects have numerous priests, who mostly live in monasteries, and acknowledge high and low officials, forming a hierarchy wholly separate from the state government. They lead an idle life, and are highly honored in places where labor is a disgrace. They, however, have no functions to perform in relation to life. They are neither employed at the birth or naming of a child, nor at marriages or deaths. SEE CHINA.

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