MAP 53
MAP 53

Subregional map of East China.

9. Shanghai 上海

Land area: 6,341 km2

Population: 23,019,196

Topography

Shanghai is one of the four municipalities of China directly controlled by the central government. It is also an international commercial, cultural, and communication center. Situated at the junction of the Yangtze River 长江 and the Huangpu River 黄浦江, Shanghai is composed of a peninsula and many surrounding islands (Map 54). Chongming Island 崇明岛 in northern Shanghai is the second-largest island in mainland China. Downtown Shanghai is bisected by the Huangpu River. Puxi 浦西, on the west bank of the Huangpu River, is the historical center of the city while Pudong 浦东, the central financial district, has developed in recent decades on the east bank. Shanghai is further divided into 16 districts.

Located at the heart of the Yangtze Delta, Shanghai serves as China’s major trading port and the gateway to inland China. The city has attracted a large amount of foreign investment, and many multinational companies are headquartered in the metropolis. This municipality is also one of China’s main industrial centers, with the country’s largest steelmaker, Baosteel Group, and its extensive shipyards.

Demography

The total population of Shanghai rose by 40 percent to 23,019,196 in 2010. The huge and rapidly growing population is an impetus to local economic development,1 but also places a considerable strain on resources and the environment.2 The population size has increased rapidly, particularly in Songjiang 松江 District, where it grew by 146.8 percent between 2000 and 2010. The population density of Shanghai is extremely high in the downtown area. The Yangtze River Delta Region (Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang) has become the most popular destination for interprovincial immigrants, superseding the Pearl River Delta region in Guangdong. During 2000–2010, the total number of people who had relocated in Shanghai increased by 632.7 percent (Maps 55–56). Most immigrants are from the neighboring provinces of Anhui 安徽, Jiangsu 江苏, and Henan 河南.3 Many settled in districts on the outskirts of the city, such as Jiading 嘉定, Songjiang, and Qingpu 青浦, and by 2010, immigrants constituted more than half of the total population in these districts.

MAP 55
MAP 55

Shanghai: Immigration in 2000.

MAP 56
MAP 56

Shanghai: Immigration in 2010.

The overall level of education has risen greatly. The proportion of the population with a college degree or higher climbed from 11 percent in 2000 to 23 percent in 2010 (Maps 57–58). In most districts west of Huangpu River the proportion of college-educated residents had reached 30 percent by 2010. However, in Chongming District and Qingpu District the proportion remained low (7 percent and 9.1 percent respectively). It is interesting to note that the number of people from Shanghai studying or working abroad increased by 172 percent between 2000 and 2010, from 42,801 to 116,597.

MAP 57
MAP 57

Shanghai: Education in 2000.

MAP 58
MAP 58

Shanghai: Education in 2010.

Key Religious Facts

As in the case of Beijing and Tianjin, the 2004 Economic Census included only a few of the known religious sites in Shanghai, and thus we had to collect additional data to produce Map 59 and Figure 17. Shanghai is one of China’s most diverse religious marketplaces, partly due to its historical status as an important port during imperial times, and partly due to its being a former treaty port. In the mid-nineteenth century, under British military threat, the Qing government granted access to Shanghai to Western countries seeking wider markets in China. The city quickly gained importance as China’s center of foreign trade and generally served as the link between China and the world not only for commerce but also for Christian organizations.4

MAP 59
FIGURE 17
FIGURE 17
FIGURE 17

Shanghai: Distribution of religious sites by prefecture.

Nearly 2,000 Buddhist temples were located in Shanghai before the founding of the People’s Republic of China, but that number has been substantially reduced. Among the Buddhist temples open for religious activities, the best known is the Jade Buddha Temple 玉佛寺 in Jing’an District 静安区. There are several Daoist temples in the city, including the well-known City God Temple 城隍庙 in Huangpu District 黄浦区, a major temple of the Zhengyi 正一 [Orthodox Unity] school of Daoism.

In the first half of the twentieth century, Shanghai became an important center for Christian missionary organizations and some indigenous Christian movements, such as the Little Flock churches founded and led by Watchman Nee (Ni Tuosheng 倪柝声, 1903–1972). Meanwhile, Shanghai became the Chinese headquarters of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). In the 1930s and 1940s, many YMCA and YWCA activists and some church leaders became openly sympathetic to the Communist revolution and some even clandestinely joined the Communists. These “progressive” Christians became leaders of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement in the People’s Republic of China. The Protestant national committee of the TSPM maintains its headquarters in Shanghai, whereas the national associations of the other four religions have their headquarters in Beijing. Currently, there are more than 100 approved Protestant churches. Meanwhile, house churches are numerous, including Shanghai Wanbang Mission Church 上海万邦宣教教会, once the largest house church in Shanghai, which had 1,200 members in the late 2000s and drew about 2,000 worshippers to Sunday services. In 2009, the Shanghai authorities pressured the church to join the TSPM Committee. Church leaders refused, however, and subsequently its members divided into small groups for worship and fellowship gatherings.

In the 1940s, Sheshan Basilica 佘山天主教堂, or the National Shrine and Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Sheshan 佘山进教之佑圣母大殿, was the largest Catholic cathedral in the Far East. For Catholics, May is the month that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and it is the peak season for pilgrimages to Sheshan. In 2007, around 11,000 Catholics visited Sheshan in early May, but in 2008 that number dwindled to 5,000. The authorities restricted attendance in 2008, fearing social unrest after the protests in Tibet in that year. Also in 2008, tensions were heightened when Pope Benedict XVI issued a prayer letter expressing the hope that Chinese Catholics would be allowed to freely express their faith and allegiance to him.

The Sheshan Catholic Seminary 佘山修道院 was established in October 1982, when the Shanghai Diocese borrowed the Zhongshan Chapel 中山圣堂 of Sheshan Basilica. In 2012 Thaddeus Ma Daqin 马达钦 was appointed as the assistant bishop by the Chinese authorities and, with the approval of the Holy See, as the auxiliary bishop. At his episcopal ordination mass on July 7, 2012, Bishop Ma surprisingly announced his resignation from the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. At the end of the mass he was taken to Sheshan Seminary, where he has remained in confinement. After the government-approved bishop Jin Luxian 金鲁贤 (Aloysius Jin Luxian, S. J. 1916–2013) died in 2013 and the underground bishop Fan Zhongliang 范忠良 (Joseph Vei Zong Leong, S. J. 1918–2014) died in 2014, Ma became the bishop of Shanghai Diocese.

Muslims have migrated to and settled in Shanghai for over 700 years and the city’s first mosque was built in 1295. In modern China, the Chinese Muslim Federation was formed in Shanghai in 1925. In the following decades Islamic institutions in Shanghai have striven to integrate into local culture while maintaining their own religious preferences. Mosques for women are a peculiar phenomenon in China, as male and female Muslims generally share a mosque equipped with gender-segregated rooms.5 Mosques exclusively for women were developed during the late Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). The practice of appointing female imams quickly spread within China’s Muslim communities. There are no reliable statistics on the total number of women’s mosques in China. In Shanghai, Xiaotaoyuan Female Mosque 小桃园女清真寺 was originally constructed in 1932 as the Qingzhen Kunning Tongde Female School 清真坤宁同德女学 (Muslim Kunning Tongde Female School), sponsored by a women’s Islamic society (Kunning tongde 坤宁同德). In 1956 it was moved to Xiaotaoyuan Street during an urban development project and renamed Xiaotaoyuan Mosque, but the building served as the office for the municipal ethnic committee. In 1993, it was taken over by the Shanghai Islamic Association and reopened as a religious site in 1995. In 2010, during the Shanghai Expo, the mosque was renovated and became a popular tourist attraction due to its institutional uniqueness.

10. Jiangsu 江苏

Land area: 102,600 km2

Population: 78,660,941

Capital: Nanjing 南京

Topography

Located on the eastern coast of China, Jiangsu is the second-smallest province in China in terms of land area. There are 13 prefectures, including 55 urban districts, 22 county-level cities, and 19 counties. Most of Jiangsu lies on very flat and low-lying plains and stands no more than 50 meters above sea level (Map 60). Mount Yuntai 云台山, near the city of Lianyungang 连云港 in the north, is the highest point in this province, with an altitude of 625 meters. Jiangsu is known as the “land of water” for its dense network of waterways. The Yangtze River cuts through the southern part of the province and empties into the East China Sea at Nantong 南通. Jiangsu is also bisected by the Grand Canal which traverses 718 km of the province from north to south. Jiangsu is dotted with nearly three hundred lakes of all kinds, including two of the five largest freshwater lakes in China, Tai Lake 太湖 and Hongze Lake 洪泽湖.

Jiangsu is an economically advanced and dynamic province, with the highest GDP per capita of all Chinese provinces. In recent decades, Jiangsu has developed light industries such as textiles and food processing. Substantial investments in the province’s irrigation system have bolstered its agricultural output of rice, wheat, and silk.

Demography

The total population of Jiangsu has increased slightly between 2000 and 2010, from 73,043,577 to 78,660,941. During the same decade, the number of people who used to live in Jiangsu but went abroad increased by 300 percent. South Jiangsu, especially those cities near Shanghai, such as Wuxi 无锡 and Suzhou 苏州, is far more developed than the rest of the province. The low-lying plains have resulted in a high population density across the province as a whole, greater than 100 persons per square kilometer. In the southern part of the province the ratio exceeds 500 persons per square kilometer. Prefectures in the South (e.g., Nanjiang, Wuxi, Suzhou, and Changzhou 常州) have more immigrants, while the immigrant population in the north hovers around the national average (Maps 61–62).

MAP 61
MAP 61

Jiangsu: Immigration in 2000.

MAP 62
MAP 62

Jiangsu: Immigration in 2010.

There was a great increase in the percentage of the population with at least a college education during 2000–2010 (Maps 63–64). In 2000, the proportion of college-educated people in the province as a whole was not very different from the national average. Ten years later, however, the proportion of well-educated persons in the southern part of the province had risen much more quickly than the national average.

MAP 63
MAP 64

Key Religious Facts

The differences in the demographic composition of northern and southern Jiangsu are reflected by the prominence of Protestant and Catholic churches in the north, and largely Buddhist and Daoist sites in the south (Map 65 and Figure 18). Nanjing, in the southwest of the province, is quite diverse and its religious communities have a high level of national visibility. The Confucius Temple in Nanjing (Nanjing fuzimiao 南京夫子庙) is one of the most popular Confucius temples in China, partly because it stands alongside the Imperial Academy and the Examination Hall, an area where several prominent literati families who produced many renowned Confucian scholars in the medieval era once resided.

MAP 65
FIGURE 18
FIGURE 18
FIGURE 18

Jiangsu: Distribution of religious sites by prefecture.

Among Christians, Nanjing is famous as a center of study and learning (Photo 17). The Nanjing Union Theological Seminary 金陵协和神学院 is the flagship Protestant seminary in China. In 2012, it held a special event to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of its founding and to dedicate its current campus, located outside the city proper. Although the current seminary was formed in 1952, it has a longer history that precedes Communist rule. The seminary was originally founded in 1911 as Nanking Bible Training School 金陵圣经学校, an interdenominational institute. In 1912, it became the Nanking Theological Seminary. Historically, the seminary emphasized interdenominational and theological openness, as well as church indigenization. In the 1950s, after all the missionaries left China, various denominational seminaries merged to form the Union Theological Seminary. Ding Guangxun 丁光训 (also known as K. H. Ting, 1915–2012), an Anglican bishop, was appointed the president of the seminary at an exceptionally young age.6

PHOTO 17
PHOTO 17

A 79-year-old calligrapher copies his Bible at night (Xuzhou, Jiangsu).

Credit: Ling Wang

Nanjing’s recent civic development has been riven by some tensions growing out of the city’s religious past. In March 2011, the local government began constructing a subway and proposed to remove 200 of the so-called French parasol trees (Faguo wutong 法国梧桐), a famous symbol of Nanjing. After the trees on Taiping North Road 太平北路 were dug up, citizens rose up to protect the city’s cultural heritage by tying green ribbons to trees along the pavement. Most notably, the poster for this campaign used the symbol of a crucifix, indicating the impact of Christianity on this event. These trees were initially planted in 1872 by a French missionary, which perhaps explains both their popular name, “French phoenix trees,” and the involvement of the church.7 This event received much public attention and even elicited political sympathy from Taiwan, becoming a topic for cross-strait debates.8 As a result of public pressure, the construction plan was abandoned.

In Jiangsu Province, there are over one thousand Buddhist temples and monasteries, seven officially approved Buddhist academies, and more than 2,500 monks and nuns. Buddhist communities in Nanjing have also garnered media attention for their preservation of cultural artifacts. Between 2007 and 2010, archaeologists from the Nanjing Municipal Institute of Archaeology, aided by other Chinese experts, excavated a stone crypt buried beneath the Grand Bao’en Temple 大报恩寺 in Nanjing, which was originally constructed by the Yongle Emperor of the Ming Dynasty during 1412–1431. The crypt contained a 1,000-year-old Buddhist stupa 塔 holding the remains of a skull that, according to accompanying inscriptions, belonged to the historical Buddha. The archaeological discoveries have increased the appeal of Buddhist sites in Nanjing’s burgeoning tourist industry.9

Immigrants to Jiangsu have also become small yet influential voices in the province. Once a busy trading center in Eurasia, Jiangsu preserves legends of Marco Polo as well as of Muslim leaders who preached and resided there, including Puhaddin 普哈丁, a sixteenth-generation descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, who came to China in the thirteenth century and helped build the Fairy Crane Mosque 仙鹤寺. Despite these transnational Islamic connections, Muslims in Jiangsu remain a small minority, comprising 0.2 percent of the population; many of them live in the ethnic township of Tangling 唐菱.10 In 2013, Oriental Daily reported that more than two hundred Muslims in Feng County 丰县 occupied the county government building, demanding an explanation and compensation following village officials’ seizure of 5 million RMB from them. Local authorities sent about 5,000 armed police to clear the situation and keep the villagers away. Muslims from neighboring provinces, including Shandong and Anhui, came to support the Muslims in Jiangsu, which resulted in a riot. Within China, the news was censored.11

11. Zhejiang 浙江

Land area: 105,391 km2

Population: 54,426,891

Capital: Hangzhou 杭州

Topography

Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of China nestled between Shanghai to its northeast, Fujian 福建 to the south, Jiangxi 江西 to the southwest, Anhui to the northwest, and Jiangsu to the north. The province is divided into 11 prefectures and includes 37 urban districts, 19 county-level cities, and 33 counties. Most of Zhejiang is covered by low-lying mountains, which extend northeast from the southwestern corner of the province (Map 66). The entire province is covered with streams and lakes, and many empty into the East China Sea, such as the Qiantang River 钱塘江. Many of China’s most famous lakes (e.g., the West Lake of Hangzhou, the East Lake of Shaoxing 绍兴, and the South Lake of Jiaxing 嘉兴) are located along Zhejiang’s northeastern coast. There are also thousands of islands off the east coast of Zhejiang; the largest are the Zhoushan Islands 舟山群岛, which have a developed religious tourist industry near Mount Putuo’s 普陀山 Guanyin Temple network.

Temperatures average between 15°C and 19°C and rarely dip below freezing in winter; summer months are usually mild. Zhejiang’s subtropical climate, however, makes coastal regions susceptible to typhoons, although long droughts may occur in the summer months as well. The extensive valleys and basins, along with the province’s ample rainfall (150 cm per year) and warm climate, make it ideal for crop production. Zhejiang is well known for its production of hemp, corn, wheat, silk, tea, and citrus fruits. In recent decades, Zhejiang has also witnessed massive industrial development, especially in electronics, textiles, chemicals, food, and construction materials. Forests cover nearly 60 percent of the province, and some species of trees (e.g., pine, cedar, tortoise bamboo) are extensively harvested for timber.

Demography

The majority of the province’s urban areas are located in valleys and basins nestled between the mountainous regions. Between 2000 and 2010 the total population of Zhejiang rose by 18.5 percent, from 45,930,651 to 54,426,891. One reason for this jump was the number of people who moved in from other provinces, which increased 580.1 percent in this period (from 1,737,432 in 2000 to 11,823,977 in 2010), with immigrants concentrating in Hangzhou, Wenzhou 温州, Ningbo 宁波, Shaoxing, and Jiaxing (Maps 67–68). Over the decade, Zhejiang experienced rapid development in industrialization, thus resulting in a great demand for labor. The percentage of immigrants among laborers in the manufacturing and construction industry was about 75.7 percent in 2010.12 The influx of workers has led to a rapid growth in the number of collective households (jitihu 集体户), or households whose members are not related to each other. The number of collective households in 2000 was 652,753 and rose over the following decade to 1,206,094, an 84 percent increase. The sex ratio in collective households decreased modestly from 147.8 men per 100 women in 2000 to 141.2 in 2010, which reflects an increase in the proportion of immigrant workers in the service industries, where female employees are preferred.13

MAP 67
MAP 67

Zhejiang: Immigration in 2000.

MAP 68
MAP 68

Zhejiang: Immigration in 2010.

Ningbo, Wenzhou, Zhoushan, and Taizhou 台州 are important commercial ports. Between 2000 and 2010, there was a significant increase in the number of people moving to these industrial zones. These areas also tended to have a lower proportion of people aged 60 and above. In particular, in Wenzhou, the percentage of people aged 60 and above was around 8 percent in 2010, while the national average was 13.2 percent. Wenzhou has become a well-developed economic zone that attracts a younger population.

Yet, the rapid economic development has not led to a corresponding improvement in education (Maps 69–70). In 2000, the proportion of people with at least a junior college degree was low in the vast majority of counties in Zhejiang, except for its capital city, Hangzhou. Although the proportion of people with college education increased overall, the spatial distribution of the well-educated population did not change much over the next 10 years. The proportion of one-generation households in Zhejiang remained well above the national average over the same decade. In 2000 the figure in Zhejiang was 32.5 percent when the national average proportion of one-generation households was only 20.6 percent; it rose to 48 percent in 2010, when the national average reached 31.4 percent.

MAP 69
MAP 69

Zhejiang: Education in 2000.

MAP 70
MAP 70

Zhejiang: Education in 2010.

Key Religious Facts

The religious landscape of Zhejiang shows a great diversity of multiple religions along the coast, including many Daoist temples, Catholic and Protestant churches, and Buddhist temples (Map 71 and Figure 19). Buddhist temples are many throughout the province. Daoist temples are mainly concentrated in the southeast, where local communities have vibrant initiation rituals and extensive network relations between temple branches (Photo 18).

MAP 71
FIGURE 19
FIGURE 19
FIGURE 19

Zhejiang: Distribution of religious sites by prefecture.

PHOTO 18
PHOTO 18

A Daoist procession at Huangdaxian Temple (Jinhua, Zhejiang).

Credit: Hu Zhang

Buddhism flourished in Zhejiang in medieval times. The Tiantai School 天台宗, the first indigenous Chinese Buddhist sect, was founded by the monk Zhiyi 智顗 (538–598) while residing in Guoqing Temple 国清寺 on Tiantai Mountain 天台山. The Tiantai School regards the Lotus Sutra as the highest teaching in Buddhism and developed its distinct meditation practice. Influential historical figures in other indigenous Chinese Buddhist sects, such as the Pureland and Chan, came from Zhejiang as well. Putuo Mountain, one of the Zhoushan Islands off the east coast, is one of the four sacred mountains of Chinese Buddhism and is home to a number of temples and monasteries dedicated to Guanyin 观音 (bodhisattva Avalokitesvara). It attracts millions of pilgrims and visitors each year.

In modern times, the most prominent and politically active Buddhist monk, Taixu 太虚 (1890–1947), was born and received Buddhist education in Zhejiang. He called for Buddhism to adapt to the modern world and support China’s modernization efforts and also influenced the rise of humanist Buddhism (renjian fojiao 人间佛教). Since 1979, hundreds of Buddhist monasteries have been reopened or newly constructed, some of which are well-known in China and beyond, including Lingyin Temple 灵隐寺 in Hangzhou, Puji Temple 普济寺 in Zhoushan, Guoqing Temple in Taizhou, Jiangxin Temple 江心寺 in Wenzhou, and Xuedou Temple 雪窦寺 in Ningbo. In recent years, Tibetan Buddhism has become popular among some Buddhists in Zhejiang, which is frequently visited by itinerary rinpoches (Tibetan Buddhist teachers). To curtail these visits, the Zhejiang Buddhist Association sent a circular to Buddhist organizations within Zhejiang in December 2016.14

In 2006, the Chinese government sponsored the first World Buddhism Forum, which was held on April 13–18 in Hangzhou and Zhoushan in Zhejiang. The current leader of China, CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping, was the top official in Zhejiang at that time. More than a thousand people from 37 countries and regions attended the conference. Since then, three more World Buddhism Forums have been held in Jiangsu, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; they were billed as exercises of China’s soft power and as cultural capital for strengthening relations with Taiwan, Hong Kong, and neighboring Asian countries that share the Buddhist heritage. In 2017, the Zhejiang Ethnic and Religious Affairs Commission made it a policy to encourage Zhejiang Buddhists to travel to the West, i.e., Europe and Americas, to spread Buddhism and plant Buddhist temples.15

Christianity is vibrant in Zhejiang (Photo 19). In the last quarter century, Wenzhou City, dubbed “China’s Jerusalem,” has become the largest urban Christian center in China.16 In recent decades migrants from Wenzhou have also established many Christian churches in European countries and the Middle East. The 2004 economic census lists 2,699 Protestant and Catholic churches in Zhejiang, and probably many additional churches were built between 2004 and 2014. Between 2014 and 2016, however, the Zhejiang government carried out a campaign to remove crosses from church rooftops throughout the province. On April 28, 2014, the Sanjiang Church 三江教堂, a magnificent building in a hillside suburb right outside Wenzhou City, was bulldozed to the ground. In the preceding weeks, hundreds and sometimes thousands of people camped out inside and outside the church day and night, singing and preaching, petitioning the authorities to spare the sanctuary, which could seat 3,000 people, and the enormous cross on the roof that was visible miles away. The demolition of the Sanjiang Church marks the determination of Zhejiang authorities in their campaign. The Zhejiang authorities justified the campaign in the name of landscape beautification, referring to their program as “three rectifications and one demolition” (san gai yi chai 三改一拆): remodeling old residential districts, old factory districts, and old villages enclosed in newly urbanized districts, and demolishing illegal structures. Many Christians rose up to defend the cross, and physical clashes between Christians and the demolition forces occurred at many church sites. Pastor Gu Yuese 顾约瑟, then the senior pastor of Chongyi Church 崇一堂 in Hangzhou, once the largest church in China, and the president of the Zhejiang Provincial Christian Council 浙江省基督教协会, openly opposed removing crosses from churches. However, he was stripped of his positions at the church and on the Christian Council, arrested, and charged with embezzlement of church funds. Several other pastors were detained or arrested as well. Moreover, a defense lawyer for the affected churches, Zhang Kai 张凯, was placed in secret detention for six months. Nevertheless, by early 2016, when the campaign was quietly terminated, no more than a third of the churches had lost their rooftop crosses.

PHOTO 19
PHOTO 19

A Christian ordination ceremony (Cangnan County, Zhejiang).

Credit: Shidang Ou

According to the census of 2010, the Hui population in Zhejiang amounted to 38,192, mainly distributed in Hangzhou, Ningbo, Jiaxing, and Yiwu 义乌. As trade with Southeast Asia and the Arabic world has increased, the local Muslim communities have prospered. In Yiwu, about half the city’s Muslims are thought to be from overseas, with many from Arab countries. In August 2012, a 25 million yuan (USD 14.4 million) mosque, Yiwu Mosque 义乌清真寺, received its final touches. Accommodating Chinese, Arab, and South Asian Muslim residents and visitors, this mosque is a demonstration of the diversity and scale of the Muslim population in Zhejiang. The rise of this community is linked to the wholesale markets in Yiwu, said to be the largest of their kind in the world; over the last decade they have attracted growing numbers of Arab and South Asian traders who buy items to ship abroad. This movement has in turn attracted Chinese Muslims, mostly Hui people and members of the Turkic Uighur minority, to work in restaurants and as store assistants or interpreters, turning this city southwest of Shanghai into a key center for Islam in eastern China. According to the mosque’s imam, it is an organic blend between commerce and religious life.17

12. Anhui 安徽

Land area: 139,700 km2

Population: 59,500,468

Capital: Hefei 合肥

Topography

Anhui Province has 16 prefectures, including 44 urban districts, 6 county-level cities, and 44 counties. The northern and southern parts of Anhui are topographically quite distinct (Map 72). The northern half of the province is very flat and densely populated. The areas surrounding the cities of Huaibei 淮北, Suzhou 宿州, and Bozhou 亳州 are part of the North China Plain, while Huainan 淮南 and Bengbu 蚌埠 fall within the Huai River 淮河 watershed. Moving southward, however, the terrain becomes uneven, with ranges of peaks like the Dabie Mountains 大别山 in the south-central region, and the Huang Mountains 黄山 and Jiuhua Mountains 九华山 in the far south. Anhui’s southern cities are buttressed by these two mountain ranges, which also form a vast valley through which the Yangtze River runs. Both the northern and southern parts of the province have many lakes; Lake Chao 巢湖 is the largest lake in the province and also one of the five largest freshwater lakes in China.

The differences between the topography of northern and southern Anhui are reflected in its climate. The north is more temperate and has more distinct seasons. The annual precipitation of Anhui varies from 750 millimeters to 1,700 millimeters, with frequent floods and droughts. In the southern part of Anhui, especially in hilly areas such as the Huang Mountains and Dabie Mountains, summers are hot and rainy. Agriculture in Anhui varies according to regional climate. North of the Huai River wheat and sweet potatoes are grown, while farmers in the areas further south grow rice and wheat. The natural resources of Anhui include iron in Ma’anshan 马鞍山, coal in Huainan, and copper in Tongling 铜陵.

Demography

Anhui is a province with a high population density. The total population of Anhui increased slightly from 58,999,948 in 2000 to 59,500,468 in 2010. The northern part of Anhui is more populous than the southern part. In 2000 and 2010, northern Anhui had a higher percentage of population between the ages of 15 and 34. The southern cities, such as Chizhou 池州 and Hefei, had a relatively high percentage of people aged 60 and above—more than 16 percent in 2010, which was higher than the national average of 13.2 percent.

The northern and southern regions of Anhui, however, differ little with regard to urbanization and family structure. Hefei remained the most urban area. The overall family structure of the province, on the other hand, changed greatly over the decade. The percentage of one-generation households in Anhui Province was 20.7 percent in 2000 and rose to 35.7 percent in 2010 (Maps 73–74).

MAP 73
MAP 73

Anhui: One-generation households in 2000.

MAP 74
MAP 74

Anhui: One-generation households in 2010.

The number of people who migrated out of the province was 230,116 in 2000 and rose sharply to 16,110,419 in 2010. Males were more likely to leave the province than females, resulting in a significant decrease in the overall sex ratio in Anhui from 106.57 males per 100 females in 2000 to 103.39 in 2010. However, the infant sex ratio remained seriously imbalanced over the decade. Among infants under one year old, the ratio was 122.7 males to 100 females in 2000 and 122.5 in 2010—much higher than the national average of 115 in both years.

Key Religious Facts

The north/south division in Anhui is also manifested in the distribution of religious sites (Map 75 and Figure 20). Protestant churches are widespread across the north while Buddhist temples predominate in the southern part of the province. While Daoist temples are scattered across the southern part, a good number of Islamic mosques dot northwest-central prefectures. Catholic churches are concentrated in Bengbu and the northernmost counties. In addition to the government-approved churches, house churches have been widespread and active in Anhui, and some of them have spread Christianity to many other provinces. The Anhui government has made multiple attempts to incorporate house churches into the Three-Self Patriotic Committee, but most house churches have resisted these efforts.18

MAP 75
FIGURE 20
FIGURE 20
FIGURE 20

Anhui: Distribution of religious sites by prefecture.

Many Buddhist temples in Anhui are renowned historical attractions. The Jiuhua Mountains are one of the four sacred mountains of Buddhism, famous for their rich landscape and the ancient temples dedicated to Ksitigarbha (Chinese: Dizang 地藏), the bodhisattva who is the protector of beings in hell according to Mahayana Buddhism. Jiuhua attracts millions of Buddhist pilgrims annually. Commercialization has become a common phenomenon in relation to Buddhist sacred mountains. In September 2012, an initial public offering was planned for the Jiuhua Mountains, along with other Buddhist sacred mountains, on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.19 However, many people opposed the idea of commercializing the sacred mountains, and the SARA has made attempts to curb it.

The revival of China’s traditional religions is also evident at Daoist sites, where masters are combining the Daoist idea of yangsheng 养生 (nourishing and cultivating life) with modern notions of health and exercise. In October 2014, at Mount Qiyun 齐云山 in southern Anhui, for instance, an international convention on yangsheng practices drew over 10,000 participants from around the world. The success and popularity of the event prompted organizers to hold the conference for a second time in 2015.20

13. Fujian 福建

Land area: 121,300 km2

Population: 36,894,216

Capital: Fuzhou 福州

Topography

Fujian is located on the southeast coast of China, with extremely mountainous regions in most parts of the province (Map 76). This made land travel within the province and between Fujian and its neighboring provinces difficult in the past. However, in recent years, highways and railroads have substantially eased land travel. The Min River 闽江 cuts through northern and central Fujian, and the Jin River 晋江 and the Jiulong River 九龙江 are in the southern region. Fujian has a rugged coastline with many bays and islands. The coastal climate of Fujian produces a moderate climate with abundant rainfall. To the west of the province, Fujian is separated from Jiangxi 江西 by the Wuyi Mountains 武夷山. To the east, Taiwan is across the Taiwan Strait. Kimon 金门 Island outside Xiamen 厦门 has been under the control of the Republic of China on Taiwan. Fujian has 9 prefectures, including 29 urban districts, 12 county-level cities, and 44 counties. The largest ethnic minority in Fujian is She 畲族; 90 percent of the She people (708,651 as of 2010) live in Fujian Province. There are also large numbers of Hui, Tujia 土家, Miao 苗 (Hmong), and Zhuang 壮.

Fujian is among the most affluent provinces in China and its economy is highly dependent on imports and exports. Farmland in Fujian is sparse, with rice, sweet potatoes, and wheat as the main food crops, and sugarcane and rapeseed as the main cash crops. The industries of Fujian include petrochemicals, machinery, electronics, tea production, and clothing manufacture. Over the past decades, Fuzhou has formed a close economic relationship with Taiwan and many countries. Foreign multinational companies such as Cisco and Walmart have set up bases in Fujian. Investment from overseas Fujianese and Taiwanese also plays an important role in Fujian’s economic development.

Demography

The population of Fujian increased over 8 percent from 2000 to 2010. Most of the increase occurred in coastal areas, such as the provincial capital Fuzhou, and other cities like Xiamen and Quanzhou 泉州. The number of immigrants from other provinces increased by 160 percent between 2000 and 2010, accounting for 4.7 percent of the total population in 2000 and 7 percent in 2010 (Maps 77–78).21

MAP 77
MAP 77

Fujian: Immigration in 2000.

MAP 78
MAP 78

Fujian: Immigration in 2010.

Between 2000 and 2010, urbanization and education in Fujian have been greatly improved. The percentage of people with at least a college degree rose from 3 percent in 2000 to 7 percent in 2010. Likewise, the proportion of people registered as nonagricultural rose from 42 percent in 2000 to 52 percent in 2010. There was only a slight decrease in average family size in the same decade, from 3.6 persons in 2000 to 3.0 in 2010. The number of people who study or work abroad more than doubled, rising from 133,373 in 2000 to 368,038 in 2010.

The proportion of elderly people in Fujian is also increasing. The percentage of people who were over 60 years old rose from 10 percent in 2000 to 12.8 percent in 2010. The coastal areas had a relatively low proportion of elderly residents and a high percentage of persons under age 35. In particular, Xiamen witnessed a rapid increase in the proportion of people between ages 15 and 34. In 2000, Quanzhou was the city with highest proportion of young people. In 2010, Xiamen ranked first. However, the sex ratio among newborns in 2000 was 120 males per 100 females and remained high in 2010, while the national average was 115 in both. In 2000, in some counties the infant sex ratio reached 150, jumping to 176 in 2010. Generally speaking, the sex ratio was more balanced in areas with a higher level of education. Surprisingly, the sex ratio in some well-developed areas in Fujian, with a highly urbanized and well-educated population, remained very much unbalanced. For example, the infant sex ratio in Datian County 大田县 of Sanming Prefecture 三明市 in 2010 was 164, and 178 in Anxi County 安溪县 of Quanzhou Prefecture. Fujian people from these areas seem to cling to some traditional values, such as patriarchal ideals, amid the rapid pace of industrialization.22

Key Religious Facts

Fujian has had a long history of diverse religions and maintains religious ties with many traditions around the world. Quanzhou is an ancient port where traders brought various religions from faraway places, including Islam, Zoroastrianism, and so on. The Meizhou 湄洲 Island near Putian 莆田 is believed to be the birthplace of Goddess Mazu 妈祖, who is also known as Tianhou 天后 [Queen of Heaven]. The Mazu Temple on this island attracts pilgrims from Fujian, Taiwan, and diasporic Chinese in Southeast Asia and around the world.

The religious landscape of Fujian shows a high level of diversity along the coast, including many Buddhist and Daoist temples as well as Catholic and Protestant churches (Map 79 and Figure 21). In addition, Buddhism is predominant in the northern and western prefectures. Currently there are three religious colleges in Fujian, namely Fujian Buddhist Academy (Fujian Foxue yuan 福建佛学院), Fujian Theological Seminary (Fujian shenxue yuan 福建神学院), and Minnan Buddhist Academy (Minnan Foxueyuan 闽南佛学院), with more than 600 students altogether. The religious colleges are living cultural centers that negotiate the forces of capitalism and nationalism, while also celebrating local cultural difference.23

MAP 79
FIGURE 21
FIGURE 21
FIGURE 21

Fujian: Distribution of religious sites by prefecture.

Given its trade-based economy and attractiveness to international investors, its tradition of emigration, and its coastal location, Fujian is famous for its connections to South and Southeast Asia and the larger world. At the same time, the role of local religions creates a network for the local as well as for the transregional and transnational, in which particular forms of culture are preserved and exchanged through emigrants in global trading networks. In 2004, the American Fujian Taoist United Association (Meiguo Fujian daojiao lianhehui 美国福建道教联合会) was founded in Brooklyn, New York. In 2011, the American Taoist United Association (Meiguo daojiao lianhehui 美国道教联合会) was established in New York. Both of these associations were led by Fujian immigrants. In November 2016, Fujian announced that it would build the Straits Daoist College (Haixia daojiao xueyuan 海峡道教学院), which will be open to national enrollment.24 This institution was approved by the State Administration of Religious Affairs in July 2016, which offers four-year bachelor degrees and three-year college diplomas. This shows how local religions can become the medium for multiple temporalities and powers alternative to the state, and how local religions benefited from the province’s continuous attention to and support for religious groups and institutions.25

As a coastal province with historical connections to the larger world, Fujian is where many South and Southeast Asian immigrants choose to work and live, and their religions play a part in the demographic and religious landscape of Fujian too. In August 2014, a concession was made to Anglophone Filipino Catholics in Xiamen: after negotiations, the Philippine Consulate General in Xiamen announced that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Xiamen had agreed to hold additional English-language liturgical services in the evening at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church (Xiamen meigui shengmu tang 厦门玫瑰圣母堂). All of these new communities are creating an environment in which church communities are responding to the rapid transformation of cities in Fujian (Photo 20).

PHOTO 20
PHOTO 20

A church in Fuzhou (Fujian) that stands amid a significant urban transformation.

Credit: Michel Chambon

14. Jiangxi 江西

Land area: 167,000 km2

Population: 44,567,475

Capital: Nanchang 南昌

Topography

Jiangxi is an inland province in southeast China on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River. The Gan River 赣江crosses from north to south (Map 80). The province is divided into 11 prefectures, including 25 urban districts, 11 county-level cities, and 64 counties. Nearly 4 percent of Jiangxi’s total population is comprised of ethnic minorities, including She, Hui, and Mongol. Jiangxi is surrounded by mountains on the west, south, and east and is dotted with numerous lakes, including Lake Poyang 鄱阳湖, the largest freshwater lake in China.

Jiangxi is a relatively poor province. Agriculture plays an important part in its economy, with rice, cotton, and rapeseed being the dominant crops. The province is rich in mineral resources and consequently metallurgy is the pillar industry. Jiangxi is moderately populous, with 100–500 people per square kilometer in most of its cities. The capital city Nanchang is the most populous. The total population of Jiangxi increased from 40,397,598 in 2000 to 44,567,797 in 2010. Interestingly, during the same decade the number of people arriving from other provinces shrank from 755,405 to 599,942, a decrease of 20 percent, implying that Jiangxi has become less attractive to immigrants.

Demography

People between ages 15 and 34 comprised 62.1 percent of the population in 2000 and 55.7 percent in 2010, when the national average was 48.1 percent (Maps 81–82). It is worth noting that Nanchang, a relatively well-developed city, did not have a notably high proportion of young people. Instead, younger people in Yudu County 于都县 in Ganzhou Prefecture 赣州市 and Duchang County 都昌县 in Jiujiang Prefecture 九江市 formed as much as 60 percent of the population. The percentage of elderly persons increased slightly in 2000–2010, from 9.4 percent to 11.6 percent. The overall sex ratio remained stable over that decade, with 120 males per 100 females in both 2000 and 2010.

MAP 81
MAP 81

Jiangxi: Young population in 2000.

MAP 82
MAP 82

Jiangxi: Young population in 2010.

Over the decade, urbanization increased greatly.26 The proportion of the population registered as nonagricultural jumped from 26 percent in 2000 to 42 percent a decade later. The percentage of people with a college degree or above increased significantly, from 2 percent in 2000 to 6 percent in 2010, which was still below the national average of 7.6 percent.

Key Religious Facts

The religious landscape of Jiangxi shows the predominance of Buddhism. Protestant churches are concentrated in Xinyu 新余, Nanchang, western Shangrao 上饶, and Yingtan 鹰潭 (Photo 21) but nearly invisible in the south and northwest (Map 83 and Figure 22). Daoist temples are concentrated in Pingxiang 萍乡 in the west, Shangrao in the east, northern Jiujiang, and central Ganzhou. There are a good number of Catholic churches in Yingtan. Nanchang in the north became the administrative and educational center for Christianity in the province, as both the Jiangxi TSPM and the seminary are in Nanchang. In 2001, after much effort, the provincial TSPM purchased a small hill in Nanchang and built the Grace Hill Church 恩典堂, which is the only church directly led by the Jiangxi Christian Council.

MAP 83
FIGURE 22
FIGURE 22
FIGURE 22

Jiangxi: Distribution of religious sites by prefecture.

PHOTO 21
PHOTO 21

Qingni Church in Boyang County, northern Jiangxi.

Credit: Shidang Ou

The central and southern parts of the province are known as a bedrock of Daoist institutions in China. In particular, prior to the twentieth century Mount Longhu 龙虎山 had long been the major center for networks of Daoist priests. However, in recent years, the name Longhu has gradually become associated with entertaining displays of strength. In April 2016, the local television station launched a martial arts program named China Hall of Dragons and Tigers (Zhongguo longhubang 中国龙虎榜) in Shangqing Town 上清镇, featuring Daoism as the guiding philosophy. The opening reception was attended by leaders of national and local Daoist associations.27 Furthermore, as the current regime is keen on utilizing traditional religions to “fill the moral void” in China,28 the popularization of Daoist notions helps to create a cultural and political homogeny desired by officials.29

Similarly, Buddhism in Jiangxi has been actively engaging with the rapidly changing society. In 2013, the Jiangxi Buddhist Academy (Jiangxi Foxueyuan 江西佛学院) launched a hotline for psychological mindfulness (zhengnian xinli rexian 正念心理热线). The academy did so out of concern for the overflow of “negative energies” (funengliang 负能量) in society due to the stress that people experience in work and life. It features counselors who are trained by Buddhist masters from the academy’s faculty of psychology. According to the academy, the practice combines Buddhism and psychology to bring the Dharma into the world and to serve the interests of the community. The hotline operates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7:00 to 9:00 pm and is free for the public. However, callers are prohibited from talking about issues concerning politics and national security.30

15. Shandong 山东

Land area: 153,800 km2

Population: 95,792,719

Capital: Jinan 济南

Topography

Shandong is a northern coastal province of China, governing 17 prefectures, including 55 urban districts, 26 county-level cities, and 56 counties. Over 99 percent of Shandong’s population is Han Chinese. There are small pockets of Hui and Manchu living in the province. The terrain in Shandong is elevated in the middle and low all around (Map 84). The North China Plain occupies the northwestern, western, and southwestern parts of the province, while the center of the province is dominated by several mountains. Mount Tai 泰山 has been considered a holy mountain for millennia. Shandong Peninsula 山东半岛 extends into the sea in the east, separating the Bo Sea and the Yellow Sea.

Shandong is endowed with abundant agricultural and marine resources. Thus, this province has developed a strong food manufacturing industry, supplying crops, vegetables, fruits, meat, and seafood. Yantai 烟台 is an especially important supplier of agricultural products, particularly apples, peanuts, and vegetables. Due to its rich oil and coal deposits, Shandong also has thriving mining and energy industries.

Demography

Shandong is very populous, and there is no significant difference in population density between its western plains and the hilly coastal area in the east. The total population increased from 89,971,789 in 2000 to 95,792,719 in 2010. Meanwhile there was a very dramatic increase in the number of people who immigrated to the province, from 1,033,213 in 2000 to 12,676,583 in 2010. About half of its residents resided in urban areas in 2010. The family size decreased slightly from 3.2 persons in 2000 to 3.0 in 2010, and the proportion of one-generation households increased significantly from 24.8 percent in 2000 to 34.1 percent in 2010 (Maps 85–86).

MAP 85
MAP 85

Shandong: One-generation households in 2000.

MAP 86
MAP 86

Shandong: One-generation households in 2010.

Key Religious Facts

Shandong has a mixture of Buddhist, Catholic, Islamic, and Protestant sites in the western and central part of the province, with an overall predominance of Protestantism (Map 87 and Figure 23). Despite the relative lack of Daoist sites, Shandong is famous for many places of high antiquity that have a deep association with the religion. Mount Lao 崂山 near Qingdao 青岛 City is arguably one of China’s most famous Daoist sites, a major monastery of the Quanzhen 全真 [Complete Reality] school of Daoism. In 2008, the local administration began to hold large events at Taiqing Temple 太清宫 on Mount Lao. These events included the first World Forum of Daodejing 道德经, which was sponsored by the China Daoist Association, supervised by the China Religious Culture Communication Association, and cohosted by the Journal of China Religion, the Shandong Daoist Association, and the Qingdao Mount Lao Daoist Forum Committee. According to the local Qingdao Times, this forum was aimed at transmitting the “virtuous traditional culture of China” and promoting the positive functions of Daoism for social and economic progress.31 The event featured lectures by Daoist masters and exhibitions of Daoist culture. Medical experts were present to advise seniors on how to live a healthier life according to a Daoist philosophy.32 The forum was held again in 2010 and 2016 with similar themes, which demonstrates official support for Daoism at the local, provincial, and central government levels.33

MAP 87
FIGURE 23
FIGURE 23
FIGURE 23

Shandong: Distribution of religious sites by prefecture.

Qingdao was among the first five treaty ports opened for trade after the Opium Wars, which left numerous architectural and religious legacies.34 The year 2011 marked the 120th anniversary of the establishment of Qingdao City, and Jiangsu Road Christian Church 江苏路基督教堂 also celebrated its 100th birthday with a newly restored organ. This church was initially built by the Germans who took possession of Qingdao in 1898.35 On the other hand, Shandong witnessed many anti-Christian mob attacks and was the birthplace of the xenophobic Boxer Rebellion in 1899–1901. Moreover, there have been a large number of Christian churches in Shangdong. In fact, Shangdong was home to some indigenous Christian sects, such as the Jesus Family 耶稣家庭, which promoted a communal and ascetic life inspired by the Bible and began in 1927 in the rural village of Mazhuang 马庄 in Tai’an 泰安, spreading to various parts of China in the 1930s and 1940s.36 Although communal life has been banned by the Communist party-state, the Jesus Family’s Pentecostal practices have been revived and have spread widely in China in recent years. There were also a number of active congregations, for example in Yantai and Qingdao in the 1930s and 1940s, that were part of the Local Church 地方教會 movement founded by Watchman Nee 倪柝声.

One religious phenomenon not captured on the map of sites in Shandong associated with official religions, based on the 2004 Economic Census, is Confucianism. Qufu 曲阜 is the birthplace of Confucius and has been developed into a cultural and tourist center in recent years. The Communist party-state has been building up Qufu and marketing it as “the Holy City of the East” 东方圣城, devoted specifically to Confucianism. The revival of Confucianism has been accompanied by a rise of anti-Christian sentiment. According to the Qufu Gazette there were at least 8,000 registered Protestants living in the city, and probably thousands of unregistered

Christians.37 In 2010, 10 PhD students studying Confucianism around the country launched a campaign to halt the construction of a Christian church in Qufu, insisting that a church should not be built so close to the Confucius Temple.38 In 2016, a member of the Political Consultation Conference 政协 in Qufu called for a ban on churches in the entire city of Qufu.39

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