Buddhism ‘Buddha’ derives from the language Sanskrit and

Buddhism is currently practiced throughout multiple countries
and cultures. ‘Mahayana Buddhism’ played a substantial role within China and Chinese culture in a wide variety of areas
including art, politics, philosophy, medicine, and material
culture. (1)

The
founder of Buddhism was Buddha Shakyamuni, they lived and taught within India
over two and a half thousand years ago. Buddhism is said to be a religion that focuses
on ‘personal spiritual development’, they strive for a deeper insight into the
true meaning and nature of life and unlike other religions they do not worship any
gods or deities. Buddhism is ranked the fourth-largest practiced religion in
the world, with approximately 520 million followers (7% of the population) (7),
known as Buddhists. The word ‘Buddha’ derives from the language Sanskrit and it
means ‘The Enlightened one’, someone who has awakened from the sleep of
ignorance and can see things that others are still blind to. A Buddha is said
to be a “person who is completely free from all faults and mental obstructions”

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During Buddhism’s two thousand five hundred
assent, multiple thriving types of Buddhism have emerged, with each a different
yet unique take on the teachings of Buddha. Mahayana Buddhism is one of the two
major practises of Buddhism. The Mahayana Buddhism tradition emerged
around the 1st century AD as a more accessible
interpretation of Buddhism, Mahayana derives
from the language Sanskrit and means “Great
Vehicle”, still to this day the origins of Mahayana are yet to be
completely understood. Mahayana Buddhism is the primary form of Buddhism in
North and for this reason it is sometimes referred to as Northern Buddhism.

An
Estimation of five hundred years after the passing of Buddha
Shakyamuni,
His teachings were passed through generations of the monastic community by word
of mouth, and in the late first century AD they were written down for the first
time in a collection known as the ‘Pali Canon’.

The
Mahayana Buddhism is the largest major tradition type of Buddhism existing
within todays Buddhism followers, approximately 53.2% practice Mahayana
Buddhism, whereas only 35.8% for Theravada Buddhism and 5.7% for Vajrayana
Buddhism. (2)

China
is one of the most ancient civilizations on earth, A report taken in 2015,
showed that 90% of Chinese citizens identify themselves as atheists. (8) In the
beginning of the twentieth-century, a group of officials and ‘intellectuals’
attacked religions calling them “superstitious,” and since 1949,
China has been governed by the Communist Party, an atheist group that
prohibited its party members from practicing religion. The Chinese Communist
Party stance on religion is based on Marxist-Leninist-Maoist atheism. Their
shared belief that religion would eventually die out when and if social
conditions could sufficiently develop. The government then placed religious
movements and institutions under government control during the Cultural
Revolution between 1966 and 1976.

Wang
Zuoan; the director of the state administration for religious affairs, he
stated that “religion undermined communism”.
The Chinese
government has added a ban for retired Communist Party members from having or
practicing in a religion or religious activities, current serving Communist
Party members are not likely to be religious as it would undermine the entire
campaign. China officially is an atheist country, but it guarantees religious
freedom for its citizens.

Chinese
media quoted an official stating what the new regulations would be:

“There
are clear rules that retired cadres and party members cannot believe in
religion, cannot take part in religious activities, and must resolutely fight
against cults.” (11)

The
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a socio-political movement that occurred
in China during the 1966 up until 1976. This movement was started by emperor Mao
and the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party. Their end game was to preserve
what they perceived to be the ‘true’ Communist ideology within the country, by
purging remnants of capitalism from china, and to re-enforce Maoist. In the late
1960s, Mao thought that the party leader in his time was more directed towards revisionist
ideas, who relied solely on expertise rather than on ideology of purity. After Mao’s
failure of his “Great Leap Forward” that caused an economic crisis, he gathered
a group of radicals, which including his wife Jiang Qing and defence minister,
to help him attack current party leadership so to reassert his authority. To
encourage the ‘personality cult’ , Defence Minister distributed millions of
Mao’s quotations known as the  “Little
Red Book” throughout China.

Today,
Chinese religion is a complex mix of Chinese folk religion, Taoism, Buddhism,
Confucianism and Communist anti-religious sentiment. Religious practices in
ancient China go back over 7,000 years, Divination practices evolved over the
Shang Dynasty (1600 BC – 1046 BC), it’s the first documented historical Chinese
dynasty. Religion then continue to grow and flourish throughout china. Buddhism
was brought to China via Buddhist monks originally from India along the Silk
Road circa 150AD during the latter part of the Han dynasty. Once introduced
took more than a century to become fully integrated into Chinese culture and
religion.