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Source: Index >> Culture History >> Religions

Xinjiang: Melting Pot of World Religions
(Tianshannet) Updated: 2009-December-22 11:48:57

The city of Kashgar is soaked in the culture of the Uygur people.

As the main passageway and hub for economic and cultural exchanges between the East and West in ancient times, Xinjiang has always been a region where a number of religions have happily coexisted.

Before Islam was introduced into Xinjiang, there had already been believers in Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Manichaeism and Nestorianism. These had spread to Xinjiang along the Silk Road and thrived together with the local primitive religions. After the introduction of Islam, the coexistence of diverse religions continued to be the order of the day, to be joined later by Protestantism and Catholicism.

The ancient residents originally believed in native primitive religions, from which Shamanism evolved. Even today, some minority groups in Xinjiang still adhere to some of the concepts and customs characteristic of these beliefs.

Around the 4th century BC, Zoroastrianism, or Fire Worship as it was popularly called, was introduced into Xinjiang from Persia. It was particularly popular in the Turpan area. The Gaochang state of that time set up a special organ and appointed special officials to strengthen its control over the religion.

Around the 1st century BC, Buddhism, born in India, spread into Xinjiang through Kashmir. Soon after, it became the main religion in the region thanks to efforts made by the local rulers to promote it.

(SOURCES:chinaculture.org)Editor: zhaoqian

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