Welcome to OSAGE! The Online Spiritual Atlas of the Global East was created by the Center on Religion and the Global East (CRGE) at Purdue University. OSAGE allows users to visualize the spatial distribution of individual religious sites in the Global East, as well as see how geographic regions compare with each other in terms of the number of religious sites. The project started with the creation of the Online Spiritual Atlas of China, which was designed to complement the print volume, Atlas of Religion in China: Social and Geographical Contexts, by Fenggang Yang (Brill, 2018).

There is a variety of ways to use OSAGE. First, all religious sites can be viewed on a point map, with each of the main religions as a different color. Using the filter function, users may limit the points to a single religion and/or a geographic region, such as province or city. Users can select the “Predominant Religion” layer to see the religion with the largest number of sites for each selected region. Below are short tutorial instructions that demonstrate these and other major functions.

OSAGE is growing! Currently, we have designed maps for China (OSAGE-China) and Korea (OSAGE-Korea), but we look forward to adding maps for other regions, such as Japan and Taiwan, in the future. The OSAGE-Korea site in particular is a work in progress. The current version does not have accurate English translations for the names of individual religious sites and it does not have a filter function at the city/county level. We will continue to work on these features and update this map in the future. In addition, we will periodically update the data in OSAGE, adding religious sites gleaned from mapping services (like Google or Baidu), published sources, or users, like you.

Accessing the Data

We are happy to make available the data that was used to make the OSAGE maps. As we continue to update these platforms with new religious sites, we will officially publish new versions of the data, complete with a DOI, and freely accessible for download via Purdue University Library. Access OSAGE-China data here. We are still cleaning a final version of OSAGE-Korea, but when this is finished, we will also make this available.


The data for OSAGE comes from a variety of sources, including official censuses, mapping services (like Google or Baidu), historical documents, and contributions from scholars. The CRGE team has cleaned the data, standardizing it, deleting duplicates, and checking for accuracy. Below are brief descriptions of the data for OSAGE-China and OSAGE-Korea.


The OSAGE-China project began with the acquisition of data on religious sites in China published as part of the 2004 Economic Census. This census listed 72,887 religious sites from all of China’s 31 provinces or provincial-level regions and municipalities. This was the first time a publicly available official census counted religious sites in China. The census reported information such as the name, location, relative size, and annual income for religious sites throughout the country. Supplemental data on approximately 45,000 additional religious sites will soon be added to the present version of OSAGE-China and released in the near future as a new version.


Data for OSAGE-Korea was provided by Professor Hwansoo Kim in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University, with generous support from the same university’s Council on East Asian Studies. Dr. Charles Chang, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale (2018-2020), integrated data collected by Mrs. Byunghee Ko into the current mapping application. Religious sites in Korea were collected from 2018 to 2019. OSAGE-Korea maps over 64,000 religious sites, including Buddhist, Catholic, Confucian, Daoist, Islamic and Protestant churches, temples and mosques. The vast majority of these sites are located in South Korea, but some sites in North Korea are also included in this data. Further inquiries about the data may be directed to Professor Kim.

OSAGE-Hong Kong

Data for OSAGE-Hong Kong was collected and provided by Dr. Kim-kwong Chan, who is an ordained Protestant minister and a scholar in the fields of theology and China Studies, and Mr. Gao Xingdong, the research assistant for Dr. Chan. Dr. Chan has authored and co-authored twelve books, with the most recent one: Understanding World Christianity: China (Fortress, 2019). He has retired from an ecclesial position and is currently a part-time Research Associate on a project about the religious dynamics of the Belt Road Initiatives at the Hong Kong University. Dr. Chan and Mr. Gao collected religious site data in 2022 based on the following criteria: 1) Physical location operated by a religious group/or organization by a religious practitioner who is in charge and responsible for such venue. 2) Registered address with the civil authority. 3) There are religious activities in these venues on a regular basis involving religious leaders and believers and religious. 4) The venue is open to religious believers. The data for Hong Kong School is from Esrichinahk (July, 2022). Please refer to the terms and conditions of usage in DATA.GOV.HK.


The tutorials available here are based on the OSAGE-China map, but users may apply the same functions on the OSAGE-Korea map.

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Basic filtering

Filter data by religion or geographic unit.

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Map control

Adjust the provincial, prefectural, and county boundaries; zoom in and out; change the background map; and restore map to default.

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Map visualization

Use the categories in the left column to visualize religious sites.

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Advanced filtering

Advanced filtering allows users to filter sites based on more detailed information.

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Add data

Add new data with ArcGIS Online or your own files, including CSV, Geo JSON, KML, and GPX.

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Story maps

View visual essays about individual religious sites.

Contribute to OSAGE

Not only does OSAGE allow users to visualize the distribution of religious sites in the Global East, it also provides a platform to add or edit this data. Given the size of the dataset, the location and name or information for some of the religious sites may not be completely accurate. For example, the data may not list the correct district in a city where a certain religious site is located. Additionally, many current religious sites may not be found in the dataset because, for instance, it may be a new site. If you would like to contribute data to this project, please contact the Center on Religion and the Global East.


This website is designed for researchers as a base tool to analyze and visualize religion and religious sites in the Global East. However, we acknowledge that boundaries and labels are contentious issues. Though we strive to remain neutral on such issues, we understand that maps are inherently political and can be controversial. OSAGE allows users to choose different basemaps in the ArcGIS Online system. These different maps may use various terms for regions or geographic features or apply different boundaries. We hope that the flexibility of allowing users to choose their preferred basemap will minimize the political concerns certain maps may prompt.