- Macau, a former Portuguese colony, was returned to the People's Republic of China in 1990. The Macau Basic Law, agreed upon prior to the return, includes guarantees of religious freedom.The population of Macau is primarily Buddhist of Chinese background. The Portuguese government, until the late 20th century, favored the Roman Catholic Church, which dominates the Christian community. Out of a population of 450,000, the Roman Catholics claim 23,000 of 34,000 Christians. The Baptist Church, the Chinese Evangelical Church, an indigenous body, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, each with more than 1,000 members, are the only Protestant bodies of any size.Though Protestants are a distinct minority in Macau, an important chapter in their history occurred there. It was in Macau that Robert Morrison (1782-1834) launched the Protestant mission to China. The Church of Christ in China inMacau, which continues his work, reports only a few hundred members. in 1997, the small Anglican presence was incorporated into the new Anglican Church of Hong Kong and Macau as a missionary area.See also China.Further reading:■ Y. M. Cheng and K. S. Haung, Reli-gioes De Macau (Macau: Macau Foundation, 1994)■ R. D. Cremer, Macau: City of Commerce and Culture (Hong Kong: UEA Press, 1987).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.
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