The Chinese Communist Party that rules the nation is officially atheist, though it is gradually becoming more tolerant of religions, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Currently, there are only five official religions. Any religion other than Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism are illegal, even though the Chinese constitution states that people are allowed freedom of religion. The gradual tolerance of religion has only started to progress in the past few decades.
About a quarter of the people practice Taoism and Confucianism and other traditional religions. There are also small numbers of Buddhists, Muslims and Christians. Although numerous Protestant and Catholic ministries have been active in the country since the early 19th century, they have made little progress in converting Chinese to these religions.