The Chinese government is officially atheist; however, there are a wide variety of religious practices among the Chinese population. The Chinese government's attitude to religion is one of skepticism. According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 47% of Chinese people were confirmed atheists. Article 36 of the 1978 Constitution provides for religious freedom: “No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens because they do, or do not believe in religion.” The Chinese state officially recognizes five religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism. In order to be a member of the Communist Party of China an individual must not have religious affiliation.
China is considered a nation with a long history of humanism, secularism, and this-worldly thought since the time of Confucius,[note 1] who stressed shisu (世俗 "being in the world"). Hu Shih stated in the 1920s that "China is a country without religion and the Chinese are a people who are not bound by religious superstitions".
^Mark Juergensmeyer. Religion in Global Civil Society. Oxford University Press, 2005. p. 70, quote: «[...] humanist philosophies such as Confucianism, which do not share a belief in divine law and do not exalt faithfulness to a higher law as a manifestation of divine will [...]».
^Herbert Fingarette. Confucius: The Secular As Sacred. Waveland, 1998. ISBN 1577660102