Religion in Macau is diverse: there is no state religion; the freedom of religion and belief is protected by Macau’s constitutional document the Macau Basic Law. Roman Catholic was the state religion of the Portuguese government in Macau until the handover on December 20, 1999.
The Macau government practices freedom of religion and respects the rights of the people in Macau. Based of 3:34 of the Basic Law, The people in Macau have the freedom of belief; People in Macau have the freedom of religion and they can preach, hold or participate in the activities of religion. Also, in the 3:120, The Macao Special Administrative Region base on the principle of the freedom of religion and belief, the government does not intervene the interior of religion, the religion organization and the believers to keep in touch and develop the relationship with the religion organization and the believers of the oversea of Macau. The religion organization can start the religion college or other schools, hospitals and the welfare organization or others case work in accordance with the law; The schools which are started by religion organization can continue their religion education, include to teach the religion lessons; The religion organization can have the right for obtain, use, handle, inherit and adopt the contribution base on the law. The right in the wealth of religion organization is protected by the law.
To compare the kinds of religion between Macau and Hong Kong, the kinds of religion is not many in Macau. In the structure of the religion believers, Macau as like as others Chinese community, people usually believe in the traditional belief of the Folk religion, most of the believers are Buddhism (About 79.3% population in 2006); Because of the historical background of Macau, the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant Church of the Christianity are animated in Macau community and have some believers to support them, included some alternative Christianity (About 7% in 2006). As of December 2006, there were approximately 2,500 Baha’is. The Baha’is in 1988 established a 250-student institution that encompasses a kindergarten, primary school, and secondary school. There are about 400 Muslims in Macau and one mosque.
The religion which is the activist in the case work is the Catholic now. However, because of the limit of the resources and Portuguese Government is partial for Catholic, others religions have no chance to participated the case work. However, after the Macau return to China, the government haven’t partial for Catholic Church anymore. According to recent surveys, Catholicism is on the decline in Macau.
Lots of people who live in Macau are Chinese, the culture of Macau are influenced by Chinese Confucianism and morality. In 1909, the Macau Confucianism organization was started, the organization was subordinated by Beijing Confucianism Organization at first, but independent later. The purpose of the Macau Confucianism Organization is to respect Confucianism, spread the holy virtue, educate the talented, promote the culture. Chinese usually value the spirit and culture of the virtue. To spread the Confucianist spirit and culture of virtue, in 1913 the Organization started a small school in Macau. in order to popularize it in the folk education. In 1960, the organization printed the Confucianism Select for Secondary School. It has collected about 74 sayings from Analects of Confucius, Mencius (Book) and other Confucianist classics, in order to let students to recite them.
It is the birthday of Confucius in the 27th August of the lunar calendar, the Organization will lead the Chinese and schools which are comes from different classes to hold the ceremony commemorate and sacrifice.
A Buddhist temple in Macau.Buddhism is the largest religion in Macau,with 92.3% of Macau’s population professing the religion. It is the fastest growing religion in Macau. Buddhism has influenced much of Macau’s traditional culture.
Islam has been present in Macau since before the Ming Dynasty. Although the exact time and manner of its introduction is disuputed, it is traditionally held that it was brought to the area by traders. During World War Two a large number of ethnically Hui Muslims fled to Macau to escape devastation in the rest of the country. At present Macau has one mosque and Muslim cemetery to serve the city’s more than four hundred Muslims that associate under the name of The Macau Islamic Society.This mosque went under renovation in the late months of the year 2007.This mosque will extented its size by double to build a more mordern mosque in the heart of macau.