Spreading their faith online

Tapping the Internet to spread their faith, especially to the young, these three Chinese religious leaders have some of the strongest online presence.


•A Buddhist master who is vice-chairman of the Hebei Province Buddhist Association.

•Has 38 million followers on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo and was ranked one of the top 10 most influential Weibo superstars in 2013.

•Made news by attending a big blind-date party in Hunan provincial capital Changsha last year. He blessed the singles who came looking for love.


•A Taoist priest at the Golden Immortal Temple on the Zhongnan Mountains in Shaanxi province.

•Has nearly 130,000 followers on Weibo, making him the most popular Taoist priest in the country.

•Posts articles on Taoism and discusses current issues like environment protection. His humorous style and active participation in secular life has changed public perception of Taoist priests as a secluded group, local media reports said.

•Waded into the South China Sea dispute once by refuting a US official's understanding of the concept of feng shui on Weibo. The official had said China's actions in the high seas had "violated the harmony, the feng shui, of South-east Asia". But Mr Liang cited maps, comics and jokes to divine the true feng shui situation in the area, saying China's actions added stability to the region.


• A Christian pastor of a church in southern Guangzhou city with 85,000 Weibo followers.

•He shares Bible verses on his microblog and actively replies to the messages that his followers send to him.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2015, with the headline 'Spreading their faith online'. Print Edition | Subscribe