Hong Kong
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  Preferred Religion ()1:

  Majority Religion ()2: Chinese Folk Religionist (36.5%)

Religious Adherents, ()2

Hong Kong Eastern Asia World
Chinese Folk Religionist 36.5% 18.7% 4.3%
Buddhist (all denominations combined) 15.4% 19.3% 6.6%
 
  • Mahayana Buddhist
  • 15.2% 18.4% 4.3%
     
  • Theravada Buddhist
  • 0.2% --- 1.6%
    Christian (all denominations combined) 13.6% 7.8% 29.9%
     
  • Protestant
  • 5.3% 2.3% 5.6%
     
  • Catholic
  • 4.8% 1.3% 15%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 1.2% 0.6% 2.8%
     
  • Anglican
  • 0.3% --- 1.2%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 1.9% 3.6% 2.3%
    Taoist 8.4% 1% 0.2%
    Buddhist Syncretic 2.5% 0.2% ---
    Muslim (all denominations combined) 1.4% 1.5% 22.8%
     
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 1.4% 1.5% 19%
     
  • Shia Muslim
  • < 0.1% --- 3.4%
     
  • Other and Unknown Muslim
  • < 0.1% < 0.1% 0.3%
    Hindu 0.3% --- 14.5%
    Neoreligionist 0.2% 0.1% 0.1%
    Other Religionist 0.1% < 0.1% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 21.6% 35.6% 12%

    Religious Demography3

    The territory has an area of 422 square miles on more than 200 islands and the mainland, and a population of 6.9 million. Approximately 43 percent of the population practices some form of religion. The two most prevalent religions are Buddhism and Taoism, which are often observed together in the same temple. The region is home to approximately 700,000 Buddhists and Taoists, 320,000 Protestant Christians, 243,000 Roman Catholics, 90,000 Muslims, 40,000 Hindus, 8,000 Sikhs, 4,600 Jehovah's Witnesses, and 4,000 practicing Jews. Confucianism is also prevalent in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Although few believers practiced Confucianism as a formal religion, Confucian ideas and social tenets were often blended together with Taoism and Buddhism. The number of Falun Gong practitioners reportedly dropped from approximately 1,000 to 500 since the crackdown on the mainland began in July 1999; however, official estimates for the number of practitioners in the region are lower.

    There are approximately 600 Buddhist and Taoist temples, 800 Christian churches and chapels, 5 mosques, 4 synagogues, 1 Hindu temple, and 1 Sikh temple.

    There are 1,400 Protestant congregations, representing 50 denominations. The largest Protestant denomination is the Baptist Church, followed by the Lutheran Church. Other major denominations include Seventh-day Adventists, Anglicans, Christian and Missionary Alliance groups, the Church of Christ in China, Methodists, Pentecostals, and the Salvation Army. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) is also present.

    The pope is recognized as the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics are served by a cardinal and bishop, as well as priests, monks, and nuns, all of whom maintain links to the Vatican. The office of the assistant secretary general of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference is located in the HKSAR. Along with its apostolic work, the Catholic Church engages in a broad range of social service activities: it operates 6 hospitals, 14 clinics, 38 social centers, 18 hostels, 13 homes for the elderly, and 20 rehabilitation centers. In addition, it operates 309 schools and kindergartens, serving more than 250,000 children.


    Sources

    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

    3.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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