Statistics on Religions and Churches in the People’s Republic of China 2017
The annual compilation of figures and dates concerning the life of the religions in the People’s Republic of China begins this time with surveys made by Chinese academics on the phenomenon of “cyber religion.” They attempt a review of this comparatively young form of dissemination of religion and analyze the interest of the general public in this topic on the Internet. The question of popular beliefs continues to occupy Chinese researchers; we bring an example from the Province of Guangdong. In addition we present the official educational institutes of the Protestant Church and figures for the growth of Protestant Christianity among ethnic minorities in the People’s Republic. In the Catholic Church of China the numbers of baptisms were compiled for the entire year for the first time. There was an unusually high number of priestly ordinations in 2017 but not a single bishop was consecrated, although nine bishops died during the year and many dioceses are vacant.
The statistical update on China’s religions is supplemented by data from older surveys, official information and estimations. Depending on the source, the details often vary widely. Unless otherwise stated, the figures refer to Mainland China.