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The Hong Kong constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and several religious organizations are active in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, most people in Hong Kong do not claim a religion, other than agnosticism or atheism. Just over 25% of the population claims a religion. Among those who are religious, the majority practice Chinese folk religions, including Confucianism, Taoism, or Buddhism. As these traditional Chinese religions were discouraged during the British era, and religion of any kind is frowned upon in mainland China, it is likely that many people do not claim this practice when surveyed.

Shenism, a Chinese folk religion, is the traditional religion of the Han Chinese. The practice of Shenism involves the worship of deities related to nature, clans, cities, nations, cultural heroes, dragons, or ancestors. Since the religion is not generally practiced in temples, in urban Hong Kong, many adherents to Shenism do not recognize the practice as being religious in nature, but may consider it to be cultural and a part of their heritage.

Once the primary religion of Chinas, Confucianism is used on the writings of Confucius, an ancient Chinese teacher and philosopher, who advocated for individual, corporate, and governmental morality. Practitioners of Confucianism in Hong Kong include some of the region's educators, operating several local schools, where they incorporate the teachings of Confucius with a general education curriculum.

Taoism has an emphasis on living in harmony with the Tao, which is a principle of nature. Some of the Taoist temples have become popular tourist attractions, particularly during festival times.

Buddhism is a significant religion in Hong Kong, and some of the Buddhist temples are prominent for their architectural styles and statues, attracting visitors on Buddhist holidays and weekends. Buddhists, also, are involved in education, and Buddhist leaders are influential in corporate and governmental leadership. Buddha's birthday is a public holiday in Hong Kong, and the University of Hong Kong has a Center of Buddhist Studies.

Christianity was introduced by the British Empire In 1841, and became the preferred religion during the British era. Today, several Christian denominations, churches, and missions are at work in Hong Kong, but just over 10% of the Hong Kong population names Christianity as their religion.

The Roman Catholic Church was established in Hong Kong as a Mission Prefecture in 1841, becoming an Apostolic Vicariate in 1874, and a Diocese in 1946. There are more than fifty parishes in Hong Kong, with most services conducted in Cantonese, although services are provided in English or Tagalog in some cases. There are also more than two hundred and fifty Catholic schools in Hong Kong.

Protestantism also came to Hong Kong with the British in 1841. Today, there are more than fifty Protestant denominations active in Hong Kong, including Anglican, Baptist, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Church of Christ in China, Methodist, Pentecostal, Salvation Army, and Seventh-day Adventist. Protestant bodies in Hong Kong are united within two fellowships, the Hong Kong Chinese Christian Churches Union and the Hong Kong Christian Council.

Eastern Orthodoxy has had a presence in Hong Kong since 1933, when a Russian Orthodox Mission began, and was later followed by a parish.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) have more than thirty congregations in Hong Kong. Although the LDS sent missionaries to Hong Kong in 1853, they did not set up a headquarters there until 1949. The administrative area for the LDS Mission in Hong Kong includes all of China, although there are currently no LDS missionaries in mainland China.

Seven Hong Kong hospitals are operated by Protestant churches, some of which have been in operation for a long time. In addition, there are six Catholic hospitals in Hong Kong. The Christian community is also active in providing welfare and social services, and operating schools at all levels.

Due perhaps to active youth programs in Hong Kong, the percentage of Christians among university students is about 25%, more than twice that of the population at large.

 

 

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