Shanghai has a deeply religious history, despite being the seat of Communist power during the Chinese Civil War. Churches from the concessions period after the Treaty of Nanking opened Shanghai to Western trade still exist, if not flourish. Meanwhile, Buddhist and Confucian temples are sprinkled throughout the city and draw widely from the city for their congregations.
Starting with Western Churches, the most famous is the beautiful cathedral of St. Ignatius which is located in a beautiful area and is frequented on the major Christian holidays by tourists and expats as well as locals. The Hengshan Community Church is another active Christian Church in Shanghai that has a large following, and for Catholics the Dongjiadu Church is the go-to favorite.
Buddhist temples are, by far, the most common in Shanghai. The Jade Buddha Temple, Jing'an Temple and Long Hua Temple are large, well-respected practicing temples. Here you'll be able to worship as well as grow spiritually. Monks still practice in some of these or else they act as pilgrimage sites. Long lines and thick crowds make these temples places to visit in the off season.
The famous Confucian Temple of Wen Miao is a must-see religious site in Shanghai. Here you'll learn about family piety, respect for your place in life and a general understanding of the Confucian order of the family and society. It isn't uncommon to find fortune tellers milling about outside the temple.
A tour of the Jewish sites in Shanghai is available as well. Many hid in Shanghai during WWII and were held in a one square mile area by the Japanese as 'stateless peoples.' There are many tales of heroism and of people helping the Jewish people confined to these areas in Shanghai. A deeper understanding can be gained via a guided tour of the Shanghai Ghetto, as it became called.
Dongjiadu Lu 185
Huangpu (west of Zhongshan Nan Lu)
The First large Cathedral in Shanghai... read more
Hengshan Lu 53
Xujiahui (west of Wulumuqi Nan Lu)
Xizang Zhong Lu 316
Huangpu Qu (east side of Renmin Guangchang)
Old American Mission in Central Shanghai... read more
Fangbang Zhong Lu 249
Huangpu (Old Town Bazaar, north side of Fangbang Zhong Lu near Anren Lu)
Daoist Worship Center in Old Town... read more
Anyuan Lu 170
Putuo (northwest Shanghai, west of Jiangning Lu, 6 long blocks north of Beijing Xi Lu)
China's most renowned Buddhist Temple has survived since 1918... read more
1686 west nanjing road jing an district
Jing An (corner of Huashan Lu)
Buddhist Temple located at center of a shopper's paradise... read more
2853 Longhua Lu
Wenmiao Lu 215
Huangpu (north side of Wenmiao Lu, 1 block east of Zhonghua Lu)
Puxi Lu 158
Xuhui (west side of Caoxi Bei Lu)
Jesuit-opened St. Ignatius Church... read more