Religion in Taiwan
For the most part, the traditional religions practiced in Taiwan are Buddhism, Taoism, and folk religions; except for a small number of purely Buddhist temples, however, most of the island’s traditional places of worship combine all three traditions.
Taoism is China’s native religion, and many of its gods are deified persons who actually lived in the past and made important contributions to society. Guan Gong, the God of War, is a classic example of this; in history he was Guan Yu, a famous general of the Three Kingdoms period. Taoism came to Taiwan in the 17th century, but it was suppressed during the period of Japanese occupation (1895-1945) because of its embodiment of the spirit of Chinese culture. During those years the adherents of Taoism had to worship their gods surreptitiously in Buddhist temples, and after the country was returned to Chinese rule, the convergence of these two religions continued. Today all sorts of deities are worshipped in the same temple, forming one of the unique features of religion in Taiwan.
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