Islam and Catholicism were found to have the highest proportion of believers under the age of 30
According to a recent survey by Renmin University, religious Chinese are getting younger, with more than half of them under 60 years old. China’s five official religions are Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam.
This finding echoes a study in 2007 by East China Normal University that found the proportion of religious believers in China is skewed towards the young, with 62 per cent aged between 16 to 39. In the previous decade, most were in their 40s or older, while prior to 1996, it was the above 60s who made up the majority.
In the latest survey, both Islam and Catholicism were found to have the highest proportion of believers under the age of 30 – at 22 per cent – while Buddhism had the highest percentage of followers above 60.
While China’s Constitution guarantees religious freedom, the issue is a sensitive one for the officially atheist Communist Party, which heavily regulates religious activities and is cautious of institutions it sees as a challenge to its rule.