According to Ministry of Interior figures from October, the population is 23,293,600. Based on a comprehensive study conducted in 2005, the Religious Affairs Section of the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) estimates that 35 percent of the population considers itself to be Buddhist and 33 percent Taoist. Although MOI has not tracked data on religious adherence since the 2005 study, it states this estimate might still reflect the situation. MOI does not include religious adherence as a census question, as doing so would constitute an invasion of privacy according to the Personal Data Protection Law. While the overwhelming majority of religious adherents categorize themselves as either Buddhist or Taoist, many adherents consider themselves to be both Buddhist and Taoist.
In addition to organized religious groups, many persons also practice traditional Chinese folk religions, which include some aspects of shamanism, ancestor worship, and animism. Researchers and academics estimate that as much as 80 percent of the population believes in some form of traditional folk religion. Such folk religions may overlap with an individual’s belief in Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, or other traditional Chinese religions. There also may be an overlap between practitioners of Buddhism, Taoism, and other traditional Chinese religions, and Falun Gong practitioners. Falun Gong is a self-described spiritual discipline that combines qigong (a traditional Chinese exercise discipline) with the teachings of founder Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong is registered as a civic rather than a religious organization. According to an academic source, Falun Gong membership exceeds one million and continues to grow.
Groups that constitute less than 5 percent of the population include I Kuan Tao, Tien Ti Chiao (Heaven Emperor Religion), Tien Te Chiao (Heaven Virtue Religion), Li-ism, Hsuan Yuan Chiao (Yellow Emperor Religion), Tian Li Chiao (Tenrikyo), Universe Maitreya Emperor Religion, Hai Tze Tao, Zhonghua Sheng Chiao (Chinese Holy Religion), Da Yi Chiao (Great Changes Religion), Pre-cosmic Salvationism, Huang Chung Chiao (Yellow Middle Religion), Roman Catholicism, Islam, the Church of Scientology, the Bahai Faith, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mahikari Religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and the Unification Church, all of which are registered. Unregistered denominations include the Presbyterian, True Jesus, Baptist, Lutheran, Seventh-day Adventist, and Episcopal churches. The majority of the indigenous population of 507,000 aborigines is Protestant or Roman Catholic. Jews number approximately 130 persons, although they are predominately foreign residents. Some 400,000 migrant workers, primarily from Southeast Asia, differ in religious adherence from the general population. The largest single group of migrant workers is from Indonesia, with a population of more than 200,000 persons who are largely Muslim. Migrant workers from the Philippines are predominately Christian.