Religious Changes In China For Essay

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The worship of Mazu shares many elements with other types of Chinese folk religions. Mazu was based upon a historical figure and is said to play a protective role over the people in her region; in Mazu's case, she is said to protect fishermen (Lim 2010). She was worshipped for over 500 years in China, so that many elements of her worship are traditional parts of culture. However, the modern celebration of Mazu contains elements that were not historically present in her worship. "Facing off at the other end of the square from the Mazu statues is a podium, where government officials from the Communist Party are seated. The ceremony is part political rally, part religious ceremony and part cultural event" (Lim 2010). Moreover, the belief in Mazu is not seen as violating the Communist Party prohibitions against religion; as a folk religion, belief in her is seen as a popular belief, not the type of threat that is posed by established larger religions. Furthermore, the Chinese state may be using this worship of Mazu as a means of attaining a political goal. "After China's economic reforms began in 1978, Mazu worship spread further along trade routes" (Lim 2010). One area where Mazu worship occurs is Taiwan. Therefore,...

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This convergence does not mean that China is not becoming more tolerant of religious expression. However, it does suggest that religious expression in modern China should be viewed through political, economic, and social lenses.

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