Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/815

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RELIGION — INSTRUCTION 459

8u])jecls, 1,564 Americans, 1,106 Japanese, 6U8 Fienclimeu, 950 Germans, 975 Portuguese, 362 Spaniards, and 439 Swedes and Norwegians, all other nationalities being represented by very few members. About one-half of the total number of foreigners resided at Shanghai.

Religion.

Three religions are acknowledged by the Chinese as indigenous and adopted, viz. Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism.

The Emperor is considered the sole high priest of the Empire, and can alone, with his immediate representatives and ministers, perform the great religious ceremonies. No ecclesiastical hierarchy is maintained at the public expense, nor any priesthood attached to the Confucian religion. The Confucian is the State religion, if the respect paid to the memory of the great teacher can be called religion at all. But distinct and totally separate from the stated periodic observances of respect offered to the memory of Confucius as the Holy Man of old, and totally unconnected therewith, there is the distinct worship of Heaven (t'ien), in which the Emperor, as the * sole high priest,' worships and sacrifices to ' Heaven ' every year at the time of the winter solstice, at the Altar of Heaven, in Peking. With the exception of the practice of ancestral worship, which is everywhere observed throughout the Empire, and was fully commended by Confucius, Confucianism has little outward ceremonial. The study and contemplation and attempted performance of the moral precepts of the ancients constitute the duties of a Confucianvst. Buddhism and Taoism present a very gorgeous and elaborate ritual in China, Taoism — originally a pure philosophy — having abjectly copied Buddhist ceremonial on the arrival of Buddhism 1,800 years ago. Large numbers of the Chinese in Middle and Southern China profess and practise all three religions. The bulk of the people, however, are Buddhist. There are probably about 30 million Mahometans, chiefly in the north-east and south-west. Roman Catholicism has long had a footing in China, and is estimated to have about 1,000,000 adherents, with 25 bishoprics besides those of Manchuria, Tibet, Mongolia, and Corea. Other Christian societies have stations in many parts of the country, the number of Protestant ad- herents being estimated at 50,000. Most of the aboriginal hill-tribes are still nature-worshippers, and ethnically are distinct from the prevailing Mongoloid population,

^^-~ Instruction.

Education of a certain type is very general, but still there are vast masses of adult countrymen in China who can neither read nor write. There is a special literary class who alone know the literature of their country, to the study of which they devote their lives. There are boarding schools and day schools for boys and young men, the latter being held in the entrance halls of temples and in the spare chambers of guilds, and in all the important cities there are colleges for training candidates for degrees. Ex- aminations, mainly confined to moral i)hiloso])hy and literature, are held in the prefectorial cities of each province twice in throe years for the lower degree necessary as a ])assport to the public service, but of the six or seven thousand candidates who come forward, not more than sixty ean he ndmitted