Since 1949, (with the exception of 1966-1979), Buddhism, Daoism, Pro - testant ism, Catholicism, and Islam have maintained legal status in China (Yang, 2006). These major world religions have been widely studied, and Islam is no exception. Although research on each of these groups is essential and relevant for today, Gladney reminds us that the study of Islam in China is particularly important because, “deconstructing assumptions about a mono - lithic Chinese culture . . . may contribute to a fuller understanding of what it means to be a Muslim in a context radically different from the Islamic world” (1991, p. 23).