Patheos Watermark

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Population (2009 est.)559,846
Religious DemographicsBuddhist 50%, Roman Catholic 15%, none or other 35% (1997 est.)
Ethnic GroupsChinese 94.3%, other 5.7% (includes Macanese - mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry) (2006 census)
LanguagesCantonese 85.7%, Hokkien 4%, Mandarin 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 2.7%, English 1.5%, Tagalog 1.3%, other 1.6% (2001 census)

The region has an area of 11 square miles and, according to official statistics in 2006, a population of 560,000. Buddhism, which is practiced by nearly 80 percent of the population, is the predominant religion. Approximately 4 percent of the population is Roman Catholic and more than 1 percent is Protestant. Smaller religious groups include Baha'is (estimated at 2,500 persons); Muslims (estimated at 100 persons); and a small number of Falun Gong practitioners.
There are approximately 40 Buddhist temples, 30 Taoist temples, 18 Catholic and approximately 70 Protestant churches, 4 Baha'i centers, and 1 mosque. Approximately 50 percent of primary and secondary students were enrolled in schools operated or funded by religious organizations. These schools may lawfully provide religious education, but the Government does not maintain statistics on this subject.
Many Protestant denominations are represented, including Baptist, Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Pentecostal churches. Evangelical denominations and independent local churches also exist in the region. The Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) enrolled students in virtual seminary programs.
As of December 2006, an estimated 70 Protestant churches with 10,000 members conducted services in Chinese; approximately 5,000 worshippers attend every Sunday. An estimated 500 Protestants attended services conducted in foreign languages.