With the development of urbanization, Guangzhou has made great progress in the work of ethnic groups. Guangzhou is currently home to 56 ethnic groups. Until 2013, above 630,000 minority residents lived in Guangzhou compared with the previous ten thousand minorities about thirty years ago. Guangzhou is the city with the most and fastest growth of minorities in China.
Guangzhou runs a long history of religion and religious culture, including Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Christianity and Catholicism. Most religions were from aboard except Taoism. Buddhism was Guangzhou's earliest aboard religion since 225 A.D. and Taoism appeared in Guangzhou in 306 A.D. Islam was introduced at the early of Tang dynasty, Catholicism as well as Christianity were introduced at the end of Ming dynasty and at the early of Qing dynasty respectively.
At the end of 2013, Guangzhou had 80 registered places for worship, 1.18 million religious followers and 8 city-level of religious groups. In particular, there are almost ten worship buildings for the five major religions in Guangzhou. They gathered along Guangzhou's traditional axis - including Zhenhai Tower, Haizhu Bridge, Sun Yat-sen Monument, etc. Hence, Guangzhou's charm of being a historic and cultural city can be reflected in these buildings.
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