Chinese Religion

Cambodia Table of Contents

Mahayana Buddhism is the religion of the majority of Chinese and Vietnamese in Cambodia. Elements of other religious practices, such as veneration of folk heros and ancestors, Confucianism, and Taoism mix with Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhism.

In the Chinese home, ancestors and household gods are honored during prescribed times to help unite the extended family and to gain help from the dead, who can intercede for the living. Taoism teaches meditation and the use of magic to gain happiness, wealth, health, and immortality. Confucianism, part social philosophy and part religion, stresses religious ritual and pays great attention to the veneration of ancestors and of great figures of the past.

Chinese Mahayana Buddhism has become intertwined with Taoist and with Confucian beliefs. Adherents honor many buddhas, including the Gautama Buddha, and they believe in a paradise after death. They also believe in bodhisattvas--people who have nearly attained nirvana, but who stay back to help save others.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress