A recent WIN/Gallup poll found that China is the most atheistic nation in the world. 47 percent of respondents said they did not belong to any religion.
This high presence of atheism is not unusual, as results from the poll indicated a clear decline in religiosity worldwide.
China has had a rather turbulent relationship with religion since the middle of the last century. In 1949 the Communist party, in line with Marxist ideology, declared China an officially atheist state. Things turned for the worse during the Cultural Revolution when any form or representation of religion faced fierce condemnation due to it being perceived as symbolic of Western colonization.
Today, Taoism, Buddhism and traditional folk religions are predominant, while Christianity and Islam, at 4 percent and 2 percent of the total population, have a minor presence.
Although it would seem that today in China there is certainly more freedom of religion in China, the country has not been the most hospitable place for leaders of the faithful. There have been numerous incidents where religious folk have faced trouble, including a Christian pastor being arrested and the illegal detainment of missionaries in Shanxi province. The Pope also holds a less than amiable relationship with Chinese leaders.
[By Oliver Dzuba // Image credit: @girlwithaonetrackmind // Via io9]