Religious Adherents, 2010 (World Christian Database)1
|Hong Kong||Eastern Asia||World|
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.
Note: The World Christian Database (WCD) estimates, used in the Religious Adherents section above, count each person as belonging to a maximum of one religious group. For more information, see the WCD methodology document. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom report estimates, used in the Religious Demography section, use less restrictive criteria in which a person who identifies with more than one religion is classified as a follower of each. In certain cases (such as Japan and other nations with strong folk religion traditions), this can cause counts to vary widely between estimates. Users are advised to consult the relevant source documents before determining which counts to cite.
1. The World Christian Database (WCD) is based on the 2600-page award-winning World Christian Encyclopedia and World Christian Trends, first published in 1982 and revised in 2001. This extensive work on World religion is now completely updated and integrated into the WCD online database. Designed for both the casual user and research scholar, information is readily available on religious activities, growth rates, religious literature, worker activity, and demographic statistics. Additional secular data is incorporated on population, health, education, and communications. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.
2. 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.