Religious Beliefs and Life Experiences of Macao's Residents

Zheng, Victor; Po-san Wan
December 2010
Modern China Studies;2010, Vol. 17 Issue 4, p91
Academic Journal
As an international city, Macao is known to the world not only for its flourishing gaming and tourism sectors, but also for its rich history, religion, and culture. Drawing on empirical data obtained from three consecutive territory-wide household surveys conducted in 2005, 2007, and 2009 respectively, this paper attempts to shed light on the current religious profile of Macao residents. Generally, over half of Macao residents claim to have no religious beliefs, while one quarter of the respondents believe in the Chinese folk religion. About one-tenth claim to be Buddhists or Taoists, while around 5 percent call themselves Catholics or Protestants. An in-depth analysis further shows that female, older, and non-locally born respondents are more religious, while Catholics and Protestants are better educated and have a higher socioeconomic status than other segments of the population. Compared with those of other religious beliefs, Catholics and Protestants participate in religious activities more frequently, are in better health, and are more satisfied with various aspects of life including their family life, household economy, and work. Although over half of Macao residents are not religious, they are similarly self-reliant, family-oriented and, more importantly, respectful of law, order, and social rules. These core values, to a certain extent, mark Macao as a pluralistic society that emphasizes diversity and multi-culturalism.


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