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Religions of Shanghai



Due to its cosmopolitan history, Shanghai has a rich blend of religious heritage as shown by the religious buildings and institutions still scattered around the city. Taoism has a presence in Shanghai in the form of several temples, including the City God Temple, at the heart of the old city, and a temple dedicated to the Three Kingdoms general Guan Yu. The Wenmiao is a temple dedicated to Confucius. Buddhism has had a presence in Shanghai since ancient times. Longhua temple, the largest temple in Shanghai, and Jing'an Temple, were first founded in the Three Kingdoms period. Another important temple is the Jade Buddha Temple, which is named after a large statue of Buddha carved out of jade in the temple. In recent decades, dozens of modern temples have been built throughout the city. A predominant religion in Shanghai is Mahayana Buddhism, and Taoism is also followed by many Shanghai residents. Islam came into Shanghai 700 years ago and a mosque was built in 1295 in Songjiang. In 1843, a teachers' college was also set up. The Xiaotaoyuan Mosque is located at 52 Xiaotaoyuan Lane,East Fuxing Road, South District. This is where the Shanghai Muslim Association is also located, which has a reputation known throughout the world. Shanghai has the highest Catholic percentage in Mainland China (2003). Among Catholic churches, St Ignatius Cathedral in Xujiahui is one of the largest, while She Shan Basilica is the only active pilgrimage site in China. communities. Christianity in Shanghai includes Eastern Orthodox minorities and, since 1996, registered Christian Protestant churches. During World War II thousands of Jews descended upon Shanghai in an effort to flee Hitler’s regime. The Jews lived side-by-side in a designated area called Shanghai Ghetto and formed a vibrant community centered on the Ohel Moshe Synagogue, which is preserved remnant of this portion of Shanghai’s complex religious past