In the Southeast Asian nation of Malaysia, located south of Thailand and north of Indonesia, religion and ethnicity are the primary components of social identities. Although Islam is the state religion, freedom of religion is guaranteed. Ethnic Malays, who are Sunnī Muslim, are a little more than 50% of the population, and an additional approximately 10% of Malaysians are Muslims from other ethnic backgrounds. Chinese Malaysians, who compose approximately 24% of the population, are generally syncretic Mahayana Buddhists, with small numbers who identify as Daoist, Confucian, or Christian. Christianity has had a much greater impact in east Malaysia, where missionaries were allowed to convert natives with animist traditions; overall 9% of Malaysians are Christian. Indians, who are 7% of the population, are mostly Hindu. Other ...

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