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East and Southeast AsiaModern China

With the influx of Western colonialism in East and Southeast Asia in the modern era, many Asian countries began to reject religions of any sort. Embracing Marxism, Mao Zedong (1893–1976) saw religion in general as an opiate of the people. It was a dangerous ideology that concealed the true relations of power within society. Ironically some see Marxist-Leninism and Mao Zedong thought as a type of "religious worldview" with rituals and sacred scriptures. Smart sees Mao as creating a new religion that "harnessed some of the emotions and thoughts of Daoism (the anarchism of Laozi, the alchemy of right commitment) and of Buddhism (the Pure Land, but here and now, and Mao as a celestial Buddha but right here in Beijing)" (p. 448). In the early 2000s, hundreds of thousands of Daoist and Buddhist temples that were gutted during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s were rebuilt in rural China, which still houses 70 percent of the population. With the recent resurrection of the Taishan (Tai Mountain) Daoist temple system that incorporates Confucian morality ledgers and Buddhist hells, China is recovering fundamental elements of its religious-philosophical heritage.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Reason to RetrovirusReligion - East and Southeast Asia - The Daoist Yin-yang, Three Teachings Are One, Modern China, Korea, Japan