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Christianity in China has been present since at least the 7th century and has gained a significant amount of influence during the last 200 years. The Syro-Persian
Church of the East The Church of the East ( syc, , ''ʿĒḏtā d-Maḏenḥā''), also called the Persian Church, East Syrian Church, Babylonian Church, Seleucian Church, Edessan Church, Chaldean Church, or the Nestorian Church, was an church of the , based ...
(frequently mischaracterized as
Nestorianism Nestorianism is a polysemic Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. Polysemy is thus ...

Nestorianism
) appeared in the 7th century, during the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
. Catholicism was among the religions patronized by the Mongol emperors in the
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succ ...
, but did not take root until it was reintroduced in the 16th century by
Jesuit missionaries The Society of Jesus (SJ; la, Societas Iesu) is a religious order A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usu ...
. Starting in the early nineteenth century, Protestant missionaries attracted small but influential followings, and independent Chinese churches followed. Today, it is estimated that Christianity is the fastest growing religion in
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
, There were some four million before 1949 (three million Catholics and one million Protestants). Accurate data on Chinese Christians is hard to access. In the early 2000s, there were approximately 38 million
Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholic Church, errors in the Catholic Church. Protestants originating in the Ref ...
and 10-12 million
Catholics The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...
, with a smaller number of
Evangelical Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salv ...
and Orthodox Christians. The number of Chinese Christians had increased significantly since the easing of restrictions on religious activities during the economic reforms of the late 1970s. In 2018, the Chinese government declared that there are over 44 million Christians in China. On the other hand, some international Christian organizations estimate that there are tens of millions more, who choose not to publicly identify as such. But these estimations are controversial because the organizations which make them are often accused of deliberately inflating them.Wielander 2013, p. 3Marsh, 2011. p. 232David Ferguson.
''Merry Christmas, 100 million Chinese!
'.
People's Daily The ''People's Daily'' () is the largest newspaper group in China. The paper is an official newspaper of the Central Committee Central committee is the common designation of a standing administrative body of communist parties, analogous to ...
Online, 6th January 2015. Retrieved 11-08-2015.
The practice of
religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...

religion
was tightly controlled in dynastic times and it continues to be tightly controlled today. Chinese who are over the age of 18 are only permitted to join officially sanctioned Christian groups which are registered with the government-approved
Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (), abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ve ...
, the
China Christian Council The China Christian Council (CCC; ) was founded in 1980 as an umbrella organization for all Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Prote ...
and the Protestant Three-Self Church. On the other hand, many Christians practice in informal networks and unregistered congregations, often described as
house churches A house church or home church is a label used to describe a group of Christians who regularly gather for worship in private homes. The group may be part of a larger Christian body, such as a parish, but some have been independent groups that see ...
or
underground churchThe term underground church () is used to refer to Chinese Catholic churches in the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by ...
es, the proliferation of which began in the 1950s when many Chinese Protestants and Catholics began to reject the state-controlled structures which were purported to represent them. Members of such groups are said to represent the "silent majority" of Chinese Christians and they also represent many diverse theological traditions.


Terminology

There are various terms which are used for ''
God In monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the ...

God
'' in the
Chinese language Chinese ( or also , especially for the written language) is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic lan ...
, the most prevalent of them is ''
Shangdi Shangdi (), also written simply, "Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may in ...

Shangdi
'' (, literally, the "Highest Emperor"), commonly used by both Protestants and non-Christians, and ''Tianzhu'' (, literally, the "Lord of Heaven"), which is most commonly used by Catholics. ''Shen'' (), which is also widely used by Chinese Protestants, defines the
gods A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by suc ...

gods
or the generative powers of nature in
Chinese traditional religion Chinese folk religion, also known as ''popular religion'', is a polyphyletic File:Monophyly, paraphyly, polyphyly.png, 300px, Cladogram of the primates, showing a monophyly (the simians, in yellow), a paraphyly (the prosimians, in cyan, i ...
s. Historically, Christians have also adopted a variety of terms from the
Chinese classics Chinese classic texts or canonical texts () or simply dianji (典籍) refers to the Chinese texts which originated before the imperial unification by the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, particularly the "Four Books and Five Classics" of the Neo-Confuciani ...
as references to God, for example, the Ruler () and the Creator (). Terms for Christianity in Chinese include: "Protestantism" (); "Catholicism" (); and
Eastern Orthodox Christians The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a Communion ( ...
(). The whole of
Orthodox Christianity Orthodoxy (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
is named ''Zhèng jiào'' (). Christians in China are referred to as "Christ followers/believers" () or "Christ religion followers/believers" ().


History


Pre-modern history


Earliest documented period

The Christian apologist
Arnobius Arnobius (died c. 330) was an early Christian The history of Christianity concerns the Christianity, Christian religion, Christendom, Christian countries, and the Christian Church, Church with its various Christian denomination, denominations ...
(died c. AD 330) claimed in his work ''Against the Heathen: Book II'', that Christianity had reached the land of
Seres Serica (, grc, Σηρικά) was one of the easternmost countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are ...
(an old Roman name for northern China) saying "For the deeds can be reckoned up and numbered which have been done in India, among the Seres, Persians, and Medes; in Arabia, Egypt, in Asia, Syria; among the Galatians, Parthians, Phrygians; in Achaia, Macedonia, Epirus; in all islands and provinces on which the rising and setting sun shines; in Rome herself, finally, the mistress of the world, in which, although men are busied with the practices introduced by king Numa, and the superstitious observances of antiquity, they have nevertheless hastened to give up their fathers' mode of life, and attach themselves to Christian truth." However, to date, there is little to no archaeological evidence or knowledge about the pre-Nestorian classical Chinese and/or Tocharian church. Two (possibly Nestorian) monks were preaching
Christianity in India Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-c ...
in the 6th century before they smuggled silkworm eggs from China to the Byzantine Empire. The first documentation of Christianity entering China was written on an 8th-century stone tablet known as the
Nestorian Stele The Xi'an Stele also known as the Nestorian Stele, Nestorian Stone, Nestorian Monument, or Nestorian Tablet, is a Tang Chinese stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek p ...
. It records that Christians reached the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
capital
Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), sometimes romanized as Sian, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...
in 635 and were allowed to establish places of worship and to propagate their faith. The leader of the Christian travelers was
Alopen Alopen (, Middle Chinese Middle Chinese (formerly known as Ancient Chinese) or the Qieyun system (QYS) is the historical variety of recorded in the ', a first published in 601 and followed by several revised and expanded editions. The Swedish ...
. Some modern scholars question whether
Nestorianism Nestorianism is a polysemic Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. Polysemy is thus ...

Nestorianism
is the proper term for the Christianity that was practiced in China, since it did not adhere to what was preached by
Nestorius Nestorius (; in grc, Νεστόριος; 386 – 450) was the Archbishop of Constantinople The ecumenical patriarch ( el, Οἰκουμενικός Πατριάρχης, translit=Oikoumenikós Patriárchis; tr, Konstantinopolis ekü ...
. They instead prefer to refer to it as "
Church of the East The Church of the East ( syc, , ''ʿĒḏtā d-Maḏenḥā''), also called the Persian Church, East Syrian Church, Babylonian Church, Seleucian Church, Edessan Church, Chaldean Church, or the Nestorian Church, was an church of the , based ...
", a term which encompasses the various forms of early Christianity in Asia. In 845, at the height of the
Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution The Huichang Persecution of Buddhism was initiated by Tang Emperor Wuzong during the Huichang era (841-845). Among its purposes were to appropriate war funds and to cleanse China of foreign influences. As such, the persecution was directed not ...
, Emperor Wuzong decreed that Buddhism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism be banned, and their very considerable assets forfeited to the state. In 986 a monk reported to the Patriarch of the East:
Christianity is extinct in China; the native Christians have perished in one way or another; the church has been destroyed and there is only one Christian left in the land.
Karel Pieters noted that some Christian gravestones are dated from the Song and Liao dynasties, implying that some Christians remained in China.


Medieval period

The 13th century saw the Mongol-established
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succ ...
in China. Christianity was a major influence in the
Mongol Empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in history and the second largest empire by landmass, second only to the British Empire. Originating in Mongolia in East Asia, the ...
, as several Mongol tribes were primarily Nestorian Christian, and many of the wives of
Genghis Khan ''Chinggis Khaan'' ͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋbr>Mongol script The classical or traditional Mongolian script, also known as the , was the first Mongolian alphabet, writing system created specifically for the Mongolian language, and was the most ...

Genghis Khan
's descendants were Christian. Contacts with
Western Christianity Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings ...
also came in this time period, via envoys from the
Papacy The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...
to the Mongol capital in
Khanbaliq Khanbaliq or Dadu of Yuan () was the winter capital Some countries have multiple capitals. In some cases, one city is the capital for some purposes, and one or more others are capital for other purposes, without any being considered an offi ...
(Beijing). Nestorianism was well established in China, as is attested by the monks
Rabban Bar Sauma in Europe, meeting with the major rulers of the period. Rabban Bar Ṣawma (Syriac language The Syriac language (; syc, ܠܫܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in ...
and Rabban Marcos, both of whom made a famous pilgrimage to the West, visiting many Nestorian communities along the way. Marcos was elected as
Patriarch The highest-ranking bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, ...

Patriarch
of the Church of the East, and Bar Sauma went as far as visiting the courts of Europe in 1287–1288, where he told Western monarchs about Christianity among the Mongols. In 1294,
Franciscan , image = FrancescoCoA PioM.svg , image_size = 250px , caption = A cross, Christ's arm and Saint Francis's arm, a universal symbol of the Franciscans , abbreviation = OFM , predecessor = , ...
friars from Europe initiated mission work in China. For about a century they worked in parallel with the Nestorian Christians. The Franciscan mission disappeared from 1368, as the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming dynasty
set out to eject all foreign influences. The Chinese called
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
s,
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jews
, and
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...

Christians
in ancient times by the same name, "''Hui Hui''" (''Hwuy-hwuy''). Christians were called "''Hwuy'' who abstain from animals without the cloven foot", Muslims were called "''Hwuy'' who abstain from pork", Jews were called "''Hwuy'' who extract the sinews". "''Hwuy-tsze''" (''Hui zi'') or "''Hwuy-hwuy''" (''Hui Hui'') is presently used almost exclusively for Muslims, but Jews were still called "''Lan Maou Hwuy tsze''" (''Lan Mao Hui zi'') which means "Blue-cap Hui zi". At Kaifeng, Jews were called "''Teaou-kin-keaou''", "extract-sinew religion". Jews and Muslims in China shared the same name for synagogue and mosque, which were both called "''Tsing-chin sze''" (''Qingzhen si''), "temple of purity and truth", the name dated to the thirteenth century. The synagogue and mosques were also known as "''Le-pae sze''" (''Libai si''). A tablet indicated that Judaism was once known as "''Yih-tsze-lo-nee-keaou''" (Israelitish religion) and synagogues known as "''Yih-tsze lo née leen''" (Israelitish temple), but it faded out of use. It was also reported that competition with the Roman Catholic Church and
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
were also factors in causing Nestorian Christianity to disappear in China; the Roman Catholics also considered the Nestorians as heretical, speaking of "controversies with the emissaries of … Rome, and the progress of Mohammedanism, sapped the foundations of their ancient churches." The
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming dynasty
decreed that
Manichaeism Manichaeism (; in New Persian New Persian ( fa, فارسی نو), also known as Modern Persian () and Dari (), is the final stage of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to ...
and Christianity were illegal and heterodox, to be wiped out from China, while Islam and
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
were legal and fit Confucian ideology. Buddhist Sects like the
White Lotus The White Lotus () is a Syncretism, syncretic religious and political movement which forecasts the imminent advent of the "King of Light" (), i.e., the future Buddha Maitreya. As White Lotus sects developed, they appealed to many Han Chinese who f ...

White Lotus
were also banned by the Ming.


Jesuit missions in China

By the 16th century, there is no reliable information about any practicing Christians remaining in China. Fairly soon after the establishment of the direct European maritime contact with China (1513) and the creation of the
Society of Jesus , image = Ihs-logo.svg , caption = Christogram A Christogram (Latin ') is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a Christian symbolism ...
(1540), at least some Chinese become involved with the Jesuit effort. As early as 1546, two Chinese boys became enrolled into the Jesuits' St. Paul's College in
Goa Goa () is a state on the southwestern coast of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the ...
, the capital of
Portuguese India The State of India ( pt, Estado da Índia), also referred as the Portuguese State of India (''Estado Português da Índia'', EPI) or simply Portuguese India (''Índia Portuguesa''), was a List of states of the Portuguese Empire, colonial state ...

Portuguese India
. Antonio, one of these two Christian Chinese, accompanied St. Francis Xavier, co-founder of the Jesuits, when he decided to start missionary work in China. However, Xavier was not able to find a way to enter the Chinese mainland and died in 1552 on
Shangchuan Island Shangchuan Island (, also known as "Schangschwan", "Sancian", "Sanchão", "Chang-Chuang", "St. John's Island" or "St John Island") is the main island of Chuanshan Archipelago The Chuanshan Archipelago () is a group of islands in the South China S ...
off the coast of
Guangdong Guangdong (, ), alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung, is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admin ...

Guangdong
. With the
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...
establishing an enclave on Zhongshan Island's
Macau Peninsula The Macau Peninsula is the most populous and historic part of Macau Macau (; , ; ), also spelled Macao and officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Chinese: 中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區 ...
, Jesuits established a base nearby on
Green IslandGreen Island or Greene Island can refer to: Places Africa * Green Island (Egypt), in the Gulf of Suez * Green Island (Eritrea), in the Red Sea (Gulf of Zula) Antarctica * Green Island (Berthelot Islands) Asia * Green Island, Hong Kong * Green Isl ...
(now the 's "Ilha Verde" neighborhood).
Alessandro Valignano Alessandro Valignano, sometimes Valignani (Chinese: 范禮安 Fàn Lǐ’ān) (February 1539 – January 20, 1606) was an Italian Jesuit missionary born in Chieti, part of the Kingdom of Naples The Kingdom of Naples ( la, Regnum Neapolit ...
, the new regional manager ("Visitor") of the order, came to Macau in 1578–1579 and established St. Paul's College to begin training the missionaries in the
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...
and
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...
of the Chinese. He requested assistance from the orders' members in Goa in bringing over suitably talented linguists to staff the college and begin the mission in earnest. In 1582, Jesuits once again initiated mission work inside China, introducing ,
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...

mathematics
,
astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, phys ...
, and
cartography Cartography (; from χάρτης ''chartēs'', "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and γράφειν ''graphein'', "write") is the study and practice of making and using s. Combining , , and technique, cartography builds on the premise that rea ...
. Missionaries such as
Matteo Ricci Matteo Ricci (; la, Mattheus Riccius; 6 October 1552 – 11 May 1610), was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian ...
and
Johann Adam Schall von Bell Johann Adam Schall von Bell (1 May 1591 – 15 August 1666) was a German Jesuit and astronomer. He spent most of his life as a missionary in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It ...
wrote Chinese catechisms and made influential converts like
Xu Guangqi Xu Guangqi or Hsü Kuang-ch'i (April 24, 1562– November 8, 1633), also known by his baptismal name Paul, was a Chinese agronomist, astronomer, mathematician, politician A politician is a person active in party politics Politics (fro ...

Xu Guangqi
, establishing Christian settlements throughout the country and becoming close to the imperial court, particularly its
Ministry of Rites The Ministry or Board of Rites was one of the Six Ministries of government in late imperial China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during ...
, which oversaw official
astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, phys ...
and
astrology Astrology is a pseudoscience that claims to divination, divine information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the movements and relative positions of Celestial objects in astrology, celestial objects. Astrology has be ...
. Ricci and others including
Michele Ruggieri Michele or Michael Ruggieri (1543– 11 May 1607), born Pompilio Ruggieri and known in China as Luo Mingjian, was an Italian Jesuit The Society of Jesus (SJ; la, Societas Iesu) is a religious order of the Catholic Church The Catholi ...
,
Philippe Couplet Philippe or Philip Couplet (1623–1693), known in China as Bai Yingli, was a Flemish Flemish (''Vlaams'') is a Low Franconian dialect cluster of the Dutch language. It is sometimes referred to as Flemish Dutch (), Belgian Dutch ( ), or South ...
, and François Noël undertook a century-long effort in translating the
Chinese classics Chinese classic texts or canonical texts () or simply dianji (典籍) refers to the Chinese texts which originated before the imperial unification by the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, particularly the "Four Books and Five Classics" of the Neo-Confuciani ...
into
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
and spreading knowledge of Chinese culture and
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

history
in Europe, influencing its developing
Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * Age of Enlightenment, period in Western intellectual history from the late 17th to late 18th century, centered in France but also encompassing: ** Midlands Enlightenment ...
. The introduction of the
Franciscans , image = FrancescoCoA PioM.svg , image_size = 250px , caption = A cross, Christ's arm and Saint Francis's arm, a universal symbol of the Franciscans , abbreviation = OFM , predecessor = , ...
and other orders of missionaries, however, led to a long-running controversy over Chinese customs and names for God. The Jesuits, the secularized
mandarins Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat Language * Mandarin Chinese, branch of Chinese spoken in northern and southwester ...
, and eventually the
Kangxi Emperor The Kangxi Emperor (Xuanye; 4 May 1654– 20 December 1722) was the third Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper China proper, Inner China or the Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Wester ...

Kangxi Emperor
himself maintained that Chinese veneration of ancestors and
Confucius } Confucius ( ; zh, s=, p=Kǒng Fūzǐ, "Master Kǒng"; or commonly zh, s=, p=Kǒngzǐ, labels=no; ) was a Chinese philosopher Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), ...
were respectful but nonreligious rituals compatible with
Christian doctrine Christian theology is the theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an Discipline (academia), academic discipline, typically in universities and semin ...
; other orders pointed to the beliefs of the common people of China to show that it was impermissible
idolatry Idolatry is the worship Worship is an act of religion, religious wikt:devotion, devotion usually directed towards a deity. For many, worship is not about an emotion, it is more about a recognition of a god. An act of worship may be performed i ...
and that the common Chinese names for God confused the Creator with His creation. Acting on the complaint of the Bishop of Fujian,. finally ended the dispute with Cum Deus Optimus, a decisive ban in 1704; his Papal legate#Legatus a latere, legate Charles-Thomas Maillard De Tournon issued Latae sententiae, summary and automatic excommunication of any Christian permitting Confucian rituals as soon as word reached him in 1707. By that time, however, Tournon and Bishop Maigrot had displayed such extreme ignorance in questioning before the throne that the
Kangxi Emperor The Kangxi Emperor (Xuanye; 4 May 1654– 20 December 1722) was the third Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper China proper, Inner China or the Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Wester ...

Kangxi Emperor
mandated the expulsion of Christian missionaries unable to abide by the terms of Ricci's Tianzhu Shiyi, Chinese catechism.. Tournon's policies, confirmed by Clement's 1715 papal bull, bull ''Ex Illa Die...'', led to the swift collapse of all of the missions across China, with the last Jesuits—Fourth vow, obliged to maintain allegiance to the papal rulings—finally being expelled after 1721. It was not until 1939 that the Catholic Church revisited its stance, with Pope Pius XII permitting some forms of Chinese customs; Vatican II later confirmed the new policy.


17th to 18th centuries

Further waves of missionaries came to China in the Qing dynasty, Qing (or Manchu) dynasty (1644–1911) as a result of contact with foreign powers. Russian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodoxy was introduced in 1715 and Protestants began entering China in 1807. The Qing dynasty's Yongzheng Emperor was firmly against Christian converts among his own Manchu people. He warned them that the Manchus must follow only the Manchu way of worshipping Heaven since different peoples Heaven worship, worshipped Heaven differently. He stated:
The Lord of Heaven is Heaven itself. . . . In the empire we have a temple for honoring Heaven and sacrificing to Him. We Manchus have Tiao Tchin. The first day of every year we burn incense and paper to honor Heaven. We Manchus have our own particular rites for honoring Heaven; the Mongols, Chinese, Russians, and Europeans also have their own particular rites for honoring Heaven. I have never said that he [Urcen, a son of Sun] could not honor heaven but that everyone has his way of doing it. As a Manchu, Urcen should do it like us.


19th to 20th centuries

By the 1840s China became a major destination for Protestant missionaries from Europe and the United States. Catholic missionaries, who had been banned for a time, returned a few decades later. It is difficult to determine an exact number, but historian Kathleen Lodwick estimates that some 50,000 foreigners served in mission work in China between 1809 and 1949, including both Protestants and Catholics. They encountered significant opposition from local elites, who were committed to Confucianism and resented Western ethical systems. Missionaries were often seen as part of Western imperialism. The educated gentry were afraid for their own power. The mandarins claim to power lay in the knowledge of the Chinese classics—all government officials had to pass extremely difficult tests on Confucianism. The elite currently in power feared this might be replaced by the Bible, scientific training and Western education. Indeed, the examination system was abolished in the early 20th century by reformers who admired Western models of modernization. The main goal was conversions, but they made relatively few. They were much more successful in setting up schools, as well as hospitals and dispensaries. They avoided Chinese politics, but were committed opponents of opium. Western governments could protect them in the treaty ports, but outside those limited areas they were at the mercy of local government officials and threats were common. They were a prime target of attack and murder by Boxers in 1900.


Protestant missions

140 years of Protestant missionary work began with Robert Morrison (missionary), Robert Morrison, arriving in Macau on 4 September 1807. p.164 Morrison produced a Chinese translation of the Bible. He also compiled a Chinese dictionary for the use of Westerners. The Bible translation took 12 years and the compilation of the dictionary, 16 years.


Hostile laws

The Qing government code included a prohibition of "Wizards, Witches, and all Superstitions". The Jiaqing Emperor, in 1814, added a sixth clause with reference to Christianity, modified in 1821 and printed in 1826 by the Daoguang Emperor prohibiting those who spread Christianity among Han Chinese and Manchus. Christians who would not renounce their conversion were to be sent to Muslim cities in Xinjiang, to be given as slaves to Muslim leaders and Baig, beys. Some hoped that the Chinese government would discriminate between Protestantism and the Catholic Church, since the law was directed at Rome, but after Protestant missionaries in 1835– 36 gave Christian books to Chinese, the Daoguang Emperor demanded to know who were the "traitorous natives in Canton who had supplied them with books".


Rapid growth after 1842

The pace of missionary activity increased considerably after the First Opium War in 1842. Christian missionaries and their schools, under the protection of the Western powers, went on to play a major role in the Westernization of China in the 19th and 20th centuries. Liang Fa ("Leung Faat" in Cantonese) worked in a printing company in Guangzhou in 1810 and came to know Robert Morrison, who translated the Bible to Chinese and needed printing of the translation. When William Milne arrived at Guangzhou in 1813 and worked with Morrison on translation of the Bible, he also came to know Liang, whom he baptized in 1816. In 1827, Liang was ordained by Morrison, thus becoming a missionary of the London Missionary Society and the first Chinese Protestant minister and evangelist. During the 1840s, Western missionaries promulgated Christianity in officially designated coastal Treaty ports that were open to foreign trade. The Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864) originated in the influence of missionaries on the leader Hong Xiuquan, who called himself the younger brother of Jesus Christ but was denounced as a heretic by mainstream Christian groups. Hong's revolt against the Qing dynasty, Qing government established the Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace with the capital at Nanjing. He attained control of significant parts of southern China, at its height ruling over about 30 million people. His theocratic and militaristic regime called for social reforms, including strict separation of the sexes, abolition of foot binding, land socialization, suppression of private trade, and the replacement of Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion. The Taiping rebellion was eventually put down by the Qing army aided by French and British forces. With an estimated death toll of between 20 and 30 million due to warfare and resulting starvation, this civil war ranks among list of wars and disasters by death toll, history's deadliest conflicts. Sun Yat-sen and Mao Zedong viewed the Taiping as heroic revolutionaries against a corrupt feudal system.


Hospitals and schools

Christians established list of Christian hospitals in China, clinics and hospitals,and provided training for nurses. Both Roman Catholics and Protestants founded list of Christian colleges in China, educational institutions from the primary to the university level. Some prominent Chinese universities began as religious-founded institutions. Missionaries worked to abolish practices such as foot binding,and the unjust treatment of maidservants, as well as launching charitable work and distributing food to the poor. They also opposed the opium trade and brought treatment to many who were addicted. Some early leaders of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Chinese Republic, such as Sun Yat-sen were converts to Christianity and were influenced by its teachings.


Expanding beyond the port cities

By the early 1860s the Taiping movement was almost extinct, Protestant missions at the time were confined to five coastal cities. By the end of the century, however, the picture had vastly changed. Scores of new missionary societies had been organized, and several thousand missionaries were working in all parts of China. This transformation can be traced to the Unequal Treaties which forced the Chinese government to admit Western missionaries into the interior of the country, the excitement caused by the 1859 Great Awakening, awakening of faith in Britain. A major role was played by Hudson Taylor, J. Hudson Taylor (1832–1905). Taylor (Plymouth Brethren) arrived in China in 1854. Historian Kenneth Scott Latourette wrote that Hudson Taylor was "one of the greatest missionaries of all time, and ... one of the four or five most influential foreigners who came to China in the nineteenth century for any purpose." The OMF International, China Inland Mission, based in London with a strong appeal to fundamentalist and evangelical Anglicans. was the largest mission agency in China and it is estimated that Taylor was responsible for more people being converted to Christianity than at any other time since The days of the apostles. Out of the 8,500 Protestant missionaries that were at one time at work in China, 1000 of them were from the China Inland Mission. Dixon Edward Hoste, the successor to Hudson Taylor, originally expressed the self-governing principles of the Three-Self Church, at the time he was articulating the goal of the China Inland Mission to establish an indigenous Chinese Church that was free from foreign control.


Social services

In imperial-times Chinese social and religious culture there were charitable organizations for virtually every social service: burial of the dead, care of orphans, provision of food for the hungry. The wealthiest in every community—typically, the merchants—were expected to give food, medicine, clothing, and even cash to those in need. According to Caroline Reeves, a historian at Emmanuel College in Boston, that began to change with the arrival of American missionaries in the late 19th century. One of the reasons they gave for being there was to help the poor Chinese. By 1865 when the China Inland Mission began, there were already thirty different Protestant groups at work in China, however the diversity of denominations represented did not equate to more missionaries on the field. In the seven provinces in which Protestant missionaries had already been working, there were an estimated 204 million people with only 91 workers, while there were eleven other provinces in inland China with a population estimated at 197 million, for whom absolutely nothing had been attempted. Besides the London Missionary Society, and the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, there were missionaries affiliated with Baptists, Presbyterianism, Presbyterians, Methodism, Methodists, Episcopal Church (United States), Episcopalians, and Wesleyanism, Wesleyans. Most missionaries came from England, the United States, Sweden, France, Germany, Switzerland, or the Netherlands., p. 206


Secular books

In addition to the publication and distribution of Christian literature and Bible translations into Chinese, Bibles, the Protestant missionary movement in China furthered the dispersion of knowledge with other printed works of history and science. As the missionaries went to work among the Chinese, they established and developed schools and introduced medical missions in China, medical techniques from the West. The mission schools were viewed with some suspicion by the traditional Chinese teachers, but they differed from the norm by offering a basic education to poor Chinese, both boys and girls, who had no hope of learning at a school before the days of the Republic of China (1912–49), Chinese Republic.


Opposition

Local affairs in China were under the control of scholar-official, local officials and the land-owning gentry. They led the opposition to missionary work. According to historian Paul Varg: :The Chinese hostility to the missionary was based first of all on the fact that Western Christianity was utterly strange and incomprehensible to the Chinese. There was also the opposition based on what they did understand, namely the missionary's revolutionary program. The literati sensed from the very beginning that Christianization would deprive them of their power. So intense was their hostility that few missionaries considered it worthwhile to make any effort to win them over. In December 1897, Wilhelm II declared his intent to seize territory in China, which triggered a "scramble for concession (territory), concessions" by which Britain, France, Russia and Japan also secured their own sphere of influence in China. After the German government took over Shandong, many Chinese feared that the foreign missionaries and possibly all Christian activities were imperialist attempts at "carving the melon", i.e., to colonize China piece by piece. Local gentry published hate literature against the foreign missionaries. One tract featured foreign missionaries praying to crucified pigs—the Catholic term for God was ''Tianzhu'' (Heavenly Lord), in which the Chinese character "''zhu''" had the same pronunciation as the word for "pig". The pamphlet also showed Christian clergy engaging in orgies following Sunday services and removing the placentas, breasts, and testicles from kidnapped Chinese. It concluded with repeated calls for their extermination by vigilantes and the government.. The Boxer Rebellion, Boxer Uprising was in large part a reaction against Christianity in China. Missionaries were harassed and murdered, along with tens of thousands of converts. In 1895, the Manchu Yuxian (Qing dynasty), Yuxian, a magistrate in the province, acquired the help of the Big Swords Society in fighting against bandits. The Big Swords practiced heterodox practices, however, they were not bandits and were not seen as bandits by Chinese authorities. The Big Swords relentlessly crushed the bandits, but the bandits converted to the Catholic Church, because it made them legally immune to prosecution under the protection of the foreigners. The Big Swords proceeded to attack the bandits' Catholic churches and burn them. Yuxian only executed several Big Sword leaders, but did not punish anyone else. More secret societies started emerging after this. In Pingyuan, the site of another insurrection and major religious disputes, the county magistrate noted that Chinese converts to Christianity were taking advantage of their bishop's power to file false lawsuits which, upon investigation, were found groundless. French Catholic missionaries were active in China; they were funded by appeals in French churches for money. The Holy Childhood Association (L'Oeuvre de la Sainte Enfance) was a Catholic charity founded in 1843 to rescue Chinese children from infanticide. It was a target of Chinese anti-Christian protests notably in the Tianjin Massacre of 1870. Rioting sparked by false rumors of the killing of babies led to the death of a French consul and provoked a diplomatic crisis.


Popularity and indigenous growth (1900–1925)

Many scholars see the historical period between the Boxer Uprising and the Second Sino-Japanese War as a golden age of Chinese Christianity, as converts grew rapidly and churches were built in many regions of China. Paul Varg argues that American missionaries worked very hard on changing China:
The growth of the missionary movement in the first decades of the [20th] century wove a tie between the American church-going public and China that did not exist between the United States and any other country. The number of missionaries increased from 513 in 1890 to more than 2,000 in 1914, and by 1920 there were 8,325 Protestant missionaries in China. In 1927 there were sixteen American universities and colleges, ten professional schools of collegiate rank, four schools of theology, and six schools of medicine. These institutions represented an investment of $19 million. By 1920, 265 Christian middle schools existed with an enrollment of 15,213. There were thousands of elementary schools; the Presbyterians alone had 383 primary schools with about 15,000 students.
Extensive fund-raising and publicity campaigns were held across the U.S. The Catholics in the United States also supported large mission operations in China. Following the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Glasgow, Protestant missionaries energetically promoted what they called "indigenization", that is assigning the leadership of churches to local Christian leaders. The Chinese National YMCA was the first to do so. In the 1920s, a group of church leaders formed the National Christian Council of China, National Christian Council to coordinate interdenominational activity. Among the leaders were Cheng Jingyi, who was influential at the Glasgow Conference with his call for a non-denominational church. The way was prepared for the creation of the Church of Christ in China, a unified non-denominational church. After World War I, the New Culture Movement fostered an intellectual atmosphere that promoted Science and Democracy. Although some of the movement's leaders, such as Chen Duxiu, initially expressed admiration for the role that Christianity played in building the strong nations of the West, as well as approving the emphasis on love and social service, Christianity became identified in the eyes of many young Chinese with foreign control of China. The 1923 Anti-Christian Movement (China), Anti-Christian Movement attacked missionaries and their followers on the grounds that no religion was scientific and that the Christian church in China was a tool of the foreigners. Such Chinese Protestants as the liberals David Z. T. Yui, head of the Chinese National YMCA, and Y. T. Wu (Wu Yaozong), Wu Leichuan, T. C. Chao, and the theologically more conservative Chen Chonggui responded by developing social programs and theologies that devoted themselves to strengthening the Chinese nation. Y. C. James Yen, a graduate of Yale University, led a program of Rural Reconstruction Movement, village reform. Several political leaders of the Republican period were Protestant Christians, including Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek, Feng Yuxiang, and Wang Zhengting. Leading writers include Lin Yutang, who renounced his Christianity for several decades. His journey of faith from Christianity to Taoism and Buddhism, and back to Christianity in his later life was recorded in his book From Pagan to Christian (1959). Lottie Moon (1840-1912), representing the Southern Baptist, was the most prominent woman missionary. Although an equality-oriented feminist who rejected male dominance, the Southern Baptists have memorialized her as a southern belle who followed traditional gender roles.


Medical missions

Medical missions in China by the late 19th century laid the foundations for modern medicine in China. Western medical Mission (Christian), missionaries established the first modern clinics and hospitals, provided the first training for nurses, and opened the first medical schools in China. By 1901, China was the most popular destination for medical missionaries. The 150 foreign physicians operated 128 hospitals and 245 dispensaries, treating 1.7 million patients. In 1894, male medical missionaries constituted 14 percent of all missionaries; women doctors were four percent. Modern medical education in China started in the early 20th century at hospitals run by international missionaries. They began establishing nurse training schools in China in the late 1880s, but nursing of sick men by female nurses was rejected by local traditions, so the number of Chinese students was small until the practice became accepted in the 1930s. There was also a level of distrust on the part of traditional evangelical missionaries who thought hospitals were diverting needed resources away from the primary goal of conversions. Of the 500 hospitals in China in 1931, 235 were run by Protestant missions and 10 by Catholic missions. The mission hospitals produce 61 percent of Western trained doctors, 32 percent nurses and 50 percent of medical schools. Already by 1923 China had half of the world's missionary hospital beds and half the world's missionary doctors. Due to the essential non-existence of Chinese doctors of Western medicine in China and Hong Kong, the founding of colleges of Western medicine was an important part of the medical mission. These colleges for the training of male and female doctors were separately founded. The training of female doctors was particularly necessary, due to the reluctance of Chinese women to see male doctors. The Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese (香港華人西醫書院) was founded in Hong Kong by the London Missionary Society in 1887 for the training of male doctors. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, the first graduate of this College and the Founder of Modern China, graduated in 1892. Dr. Hong Kui WONG (黄康衢) (1876-1961) graduated in 1900 and then moved to Singapore, where he supported the Xinhai Revolution, Chinese Revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. The Hackett Medical College for Women (夏葛女子醫學院), the first medical college for women in China, and its affiliated hospital known as David Gregg Hospital for Women and Children (柔濟醫院), located together in Guangzhou, China, were founded by female medical missionary Dr. Mary H. Fulton (1854-1927). Dr. Fulton was sent by the Foreign Missions Board of the Presbyterian Church (USA), with the support of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, New York, of which David Gregg was pastor. The College was dedicated in 1902 and offered a four-year medical curriculum. Its graduates include Dr. Lee Sun Chau.


Indigenous Christian leaders

Indigenous Christian evangelism started in China in the late 1800s. Man-Kai Wan (1869–1927) was one of the first Chinese doctors of Western medicine in Hong Kong, the inaugural chairman of the Hong Kong Chinese Medical Association (1920–1922, forerunner of the Hong Kong Medical Association), and a secondary school classmate of Sun Yat-sen in the Government Central College (currently known as Queen's College, Hong Kong, Queen's College) in Hong Kong. Wan and Sun graduated from secondary school around 1886. Doctor Wan was also the chairman of the board of a Christian newspaper called ''Great Light Newspaper'' (大光報) that was distributed in Hong Kong and China. Sun and Wan practiced Western Medicine together in a joint clinic. The father-in-law of Wan was Au Fung-Chi (1847–1914), the secretary of the Hong Kong Department of Chinese Affairs, manager of Kwong Wah Hospital for its 1911 opening, and an elder of To Tsai Church (renamed Hop Yat Church since 1926), which was founded by the London Missionary Society in 1888 and was the church of Sun Yat-sen.


Era of national and social change: the war against Japan and the Chinese Civil War (1925–1949)

During World War II, China was devastated by the Second Sino-Japanese War which countered a Japanese invasion, and by the Chinese Civil War which resulted in the separation of Taiwan from mainland China. In this period the Chinese Christian churches and organizations had their first experience with autonomy from the Western structures of the missionary church organizations. Some scholars suggest this helped lay the foundation for the independent denominations and churches of the post-war period and the eventual development of the Three-Self Church and the Patriotic Catholic Church. At the same time the intense war period hampered the rebuilding and development of the churches.


Since 1949: Communist government on the mainland

The China, People's Republic of China (PRC) was established on the mainland country in October 1949 by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) led by Chairman of the Communist Party of China, CCP Chairman Mao Zedong, while the Republic of China led by the Kuomintang maintained its government on the insular land of Taiwan. Under Communism, Communist ideology, religion was discouraged by the state and Christian missionaries left the country in what was described by Phyllis Thompson of the China Inland Mission as a "reluctant exodus", leaving the indigenous churches to do their own administration, support, and propagation of the faith. The Chinese Protestant church entered the communist era having made significant progress toward self-support and self-government. While the Chinese Communist Party was hostile to religion in general, it did not seek to systematically destroy religion as long as the religious organizations were willing to submit to the direction of the Chinese state. Many Protestants were willing to accept such accommodation and were permitted to continue religious life in China under the name "Three-Self Patriotic Movement". Catholics, on the other hand, with their allegiance to the Holy See, could not submit to the Chinese state as their Protestant counterparts did, notwithstanding the willingness of the Vatican to compromise in order to remain on Chinese mainland—the papal nuncio in China did not withdraw to Taiwan like other western diplomats. Consequently, the Chinese state organized the
Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (), abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ve ...
that operates without connection to the Vatican, and the Catholics who continued to acknowledge the authority of the Pope were subject to persecution. From 1966 to 1976 during the Cultural Revolution, the expression of religious life in China was effectively banned, including even the Three-Self Church. During the ten-year period the government began to crackdown and persecute all religions. This forced the Christians to be secretive and go underground to avoid getting executed by the communist government. Religions in China began to recover after the economic reforms of the 1970s. In 1979 the government officially restored the Three-Self Church after thirteen years of non-existence, and in 1980 the
China Christian Council The China Christian Council (CCC; ) was founded in 1980 as an umbrella organization for all Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Prote ...
(CCC) was formed. Since then, persecution of Christians in China has been sporadic. During the Cultural Revolution believers were arrested and imprisoned and sometimes tortured for their faith. p.168 Bibles were destroyed, churches and homes were looted, and Christians were subjected to humiliation. Several thousand Christians were known to have been imprisoned between 1983 and 1993. In 1992 the government began a campaign to shut down all of the unregistered meetings. However, government implementation of restrictions since then has varied widely between regions of China and in many areas there is greater religious liberty. The members of the underground Roman Catholic Church in China, those who do not belong to the official Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church and are faithful to the Holy See, Vatican and the Pope, remain theoretically subject to persecution today. In practice, however, the Vatican and the Chinese State have been, at least unofficially, accommodating each other for some time. While some bishops who joined the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church in its early years have been condemned and even excommunicated, the entire organization has never been declared schismatic by the Vatican and, at present, its bishops are even invited to church synods like other Catholic leaders. Also, many underground clergy and laymen are active in the official Patriotic Church as well. Still, there are periods of discomfort between Vatican and the Patriotic Church: Pope Benedict XVI condemned the Patriotic Catholic leaders as "persons who are not ordained, and sometimes not even baptised", who "control and make decisions concerning important ecclesial questions, including the appointment of bishops". The Chinese state indeed continues to appoint bishops and intervene in the church's policy (most notably on abortion and artificial contraception) without consulting the Vatican and punishing outspoken dissenters. In one notable case that drew international attention, Thaddeus Ma Daqin, the auxiliary bishop of Shanghai whom both the Vatican and Chinese state agreed as the successor to the elderly Aloysius Jin Luxian, the Patriotic Catholic bishop of Shanghai (whom the Vatican also recognized as the coadjutor bishop), was arrested and imprisoned after publicly resigning from his positions in the Patriotic Church in 2012, an act which was considered a challenge to the state control over the Catholic Church in China. A Christian spiritual revival has grown in recent decades. The Communist Party remains officially atheist, and has remained intolerant of churches outside party control. Christianity has grown rapidly, reaching 67 million people. In recent years, however, the Communist Party has looked with distrust on organizations with international ties; it tends to associate Christianity with what it deems to be subversive Western values, and has closed churches and schools. In 2015, outspoken pastors in Hong Kong and their associates on the mainland came under close scrutiny from government officials.


Contemporary People's Republic of China


Subdivision of the Christian community


Official organizations—the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church and the Chinese Protestant Church

The
Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (), abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ve ...
, and the Protestant Three-Self Church and
China Christian Council The China Christian Council (CCC; ) was founded in 1980 as an umbrella organization for all Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Prote ...
, are the three centralised and government-approved Christian institutions which regulate all local Christian gatherings, all of which are required to be registered under their auspices.


Unregistered churches

Many Christians hold meetings outside of the jurisdiction of the government-approved organizations and avoid registration with the government and are often illegal. While there has been continuous persecution of Chinese Christians throughout the twentieth century, particularly during the Cultural Revolution, there has been increasing tolerance of unregistered churches since the late 1970s. Catholic groups are usually known as
underground churchThe term underground church () is used to refer to Chinese Catholic churches in the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by ...
es and Protestant groups are usually known as
house churches A house church or home church is a label used to describe a group of Christians who regularly gather for worship in private homes. The group may be part of a larger Christian body, such as a parish, but some have been independent groups that see ...
. The Catholic underground churches are those congregations who remain fully faithful to the Pope in Rome and refuse to register as part of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church. Much of the Protestant house church movement dates back to the coerced unification of all Protestant denominations in the Three-Self Church in 1958. There is often significant overlap between the membership of registered and unregistered Christian bodies, as a large number of people attend both registered and unregistered churches.Miller, 2006. p. 185 Local authorities continued to harass and detain bishops, including Guo Xijin and Cui Tai, who refused to join the state-affiliated Catholic association. Chinese authorities raided or closed down hundreds of Protestant house churches in 2019, including Rock Church in Henan Province and Shouwang Church and Zion Church in Beijing, with their pastor, Jin Tianming and Jin Mingri under house arrest. The government released some of the Early Rain Covenant Church congregants who had been arrested in December 2018, but in December 2019 a court charged Pastor Wang Yi with “subversion of state power” and sentenced him to nine years imprisonment. Several local governments, including Guangzho city, offered cash bounties for individuals who informed on underground churches. In addition, authorities across the country have removed crosses from churches, banned youth under the age of 18 from participating in religious services, and replaced images of Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary with pictures of Chinese Communist Party General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, general secretary Xi Jinping.


Chinese Independent Churches

The Chinese Independent Churches are a group of Christian institutions that are independent from Western denominations. They were established in China in the late 19th and early 20th century, including both the Local churches (affiliation), Little Flock or Church Assembly Hall and True Jesus Church. In the 1940s they gathered 200,000 adherents, that was 20% to 25% of the total Christian population of that time. Miller (2006) explains that a significant amount of the house churches or unregistered congregations and meeting points of the Protestant spectrum, that refuse to join the Three-Self Church—China Christian Council, belong to the Chinese Independent Churches.Miller, 2006. p. 191 Congregations of the Local churches (affiliation), Little Flock or the True Jesus Church tend to be uncooperative towards the Three-Self Church as to their principle it represents not only a tool of the government but also a different Christian tradition.


Chinese Orthodox Church

There are a small number of adherents of Russian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodoxy in northern China, predominantly in Harbin. The first mission was undertaken by Russians in the 17th century. Orthodox Christianity is also practiced by the small Russians, Russian ethnic minority in China. The Church operates relatively freely in Hong Kong (where the Ecumenical Patriarch has sent a metropolitan, Bishop Nikitas and the Russian Orthodox parish of St Peter and St Paul resumed its operation) and Taiwan (where archimandrite Jonah George Mourtos leads a mission church).


Korean Christianity

Chinese scholars of religion have reported that a large portion of the members of the networks of house or unregistered churches, and of their pastors, belong to the Koreans in China, Koreans of China.''Dui Hua'', issue 46, Winter 2012:
Uncovering China’s Korean Christians
'.
The pastors of the Shouwang Church and Zion Church, independent churches in Beijing noted for having been prosecuted by the government, are Chinese of Korean ethinicity. The Korean-Chinese pastors have a disproportional influence on the underground Christianity in China. Christianity has been an influential religion among the Korean people since the 19th century, and it has become the largest religion in South Korea after the division of Korea, division from the north in 1945. Christianity also has a strong presence in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, in the Jilin province of China. The Christianity of Yanbian Koreans has a patriarchal character; Korean churches are usually led by men, in contrast to Chinese churches which more often have female leadership. For instance, of the 28 registered churches of Yanji, only three of which are Chinese congregations, all the Korean churches have a male pastor while all the Chinese churches have a female pastor.Carpenter, Dulk. 2014. p. 33 Also, Yanbian Korean church buildings are stylistically very similar to South Korean churches, with big spires surmounted by large red crosses. Yanbian Korean churches and house churches in China have been a matter of controversy for the Chinese government because of their links to South Korean churches. Many of the Korean house churches in China receive financial support and pastoral ordinations from South Korean churches, and some of them are effectively branches of South Korean churches. South Korean missionaries have major influence not only on Korean-Chinese churches but also the Han Chinese churches in mainland China.


Heterodox sects

In China there are also a variety of Christian sects based on Bible, biblical teachings that are considered by the government as "heterodox teachings (Chinese law), heterodox teachings" ( zh, s=邪教, p=xiéjiào, labels=no) or cults, including the Eastern Lightning and the Shouters.Dr. G. Wright Doyle (2010).
How Dangerous are Chinese House Churches
''. A review of "Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China", a book of Lian Xi. Yale University Press, 2010. .
Robert Murray Thomas. ''Religion in Schools: Controversies Around the World''. Praeger, 2006. . p. 99, quote: «Protestantism expanded rapidly in China within the confines of the TSPM. But that movement accounted for only a portion of Chinese Protestants. Another portion was composed of believers outside the official body, members of sects not acceptable to the government—sects referred to as "house churches", because their covert meetings were usually held in members' homes. [...] The Shouters was one such groups [...] Over the last half of the twentieth century, a variety of Christian evangelical groups sprang up in China, much to the distress of the government. [...] illegal cults, which included not only the Shouters, but also Eastern Lightning, the Society of Disciples, [...] the Full Scope Church, the Spirit Sect, the New Testament Church, [...] the Lord God Sect, the Established King Church [...] and more. The Local Church is the official title of the group that became known as the Shouters because of the members' practice of stamping their feet and repeatedly yelling "O Lord Jesus" during religious services.» They primarily operate in a form similar to the "house churches", small worship groups, outside of the state-sanctioned Three-Self Church, that meet in members' homes. One feature that some Christian sects with this label have in common is particular emphasis on the authority of a single leader, sometimes including List of people claimed to be Jesus, claims to be Jesus. In the mid-1990s, Chinese government started to monitor these new religious movements, and prohibited them officially, so their activities soon turned underground.


Religious venues and practice

As of 2012 in China Catholicism has 6,300 churches, 116 active dioceses of which 97 under the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church, 74 Chinese Patriotic bishops and 40 Roman Catholic unofficial bishops, 2,150 Chinese Patriotic priests and 1,500 Roman Catholic priests, 22 major and minor Chinese Patriotic seminaries and 10 Roman Catholic unofficial seminaries. In the same year, there are 53,000 Three-Self churches and meeting places and 21 list of Protestant theological seminaries in the People's Republic of China, Three-Self theological seminaries.Katharina Wenzel-Teuber.
2012 Statistical Update on Religions and Churches in the People’s Republic of China and in Taiwan
''. Religions & Christianity in Today's China, Vol. III, 2013, No. 3, pp. 18-43,
In 2010, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in China revealed its on-going efforts to negotiate with authorities to regularize its activities in the country. The church has had expatriate members worshiping in China for a few decades previous to this, but with restrictions. On March 31, 2020, during its General Conference (LDS Church), general conference, the church announced its intent to build a Temple (LDS Church), temple in Shanghai as a "modest multipurpose meetinghouse.". When it opens it will operate by appointment only for Chinese members, excluding tourists.


Demographics and geography


Mainland China

Although a number of factors—the vast Chinese population and the characteristic Chinese approach to religion among others—contribute to a difficulty to obtain empirical data on the number of Christians in China, a series of surveys have been conducted and published by different agencies. Government figures only count adult baptized members of government sanctioned churches. Thus they generally do not include un-baptized persons attending Christian groups, non-adult children of Christian believers or other persons under age 18 and they generally do not take into account unregistered Christian groups.Lambert, Tony. ''Counting Christians in China: A Cautionary Report''. International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 2003, vol. 27, no 1, p. 6-10. There is often significant overlap between the membership of registered and unregistered Christian bodies, as a large number of people attend both registered and unregistered churches. ;Official membership * The Three-Self Church had a membership of 20 million people as of 2012. * The
Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (), abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ve ...
had a membership of 6 million people as of 2012. ;Independent Survey methodology, surveys: * 2005/2006/2007: three surveys of religions in China conducted in those years by the Horizon Research Consultancy Group on a disproportionately urban and suburban sampling, found that Christians constituted between 2% and 4% of the total population. * 2007: two surveys were conducted that year to count the number of Christians in China. One of them was conducted by the Protestant missionary Werner Bürklin, founder of "China Partner", an international Christian organisation, and his team of 7,409 surveyors in every province and municipality of China. The other survey was conducted by professor Liu Zhongyu of the East China Normal University of Shanghai. The surveys were conducted independently and along different periods of time, but they reached the same results.Mark Ellis
China Survey Reveals Fewer Christians than Some Evangelicals Want to Believe
ASSIST News Service, October 1, 2007.
Mark Ellis

''Christian Examiner,'' November 2007.
According to the analyses, there were approximately 54 million Christians in China (~4% of the total population), of whom 39 million were Protestants and 14 million were Catholics. * 2008: a survey of religions conducted in that year by Yu Tao of the University of Oxford with a survey scheme led and supervised by the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP) and the Peking University, analysing the rural populations of the six provinces of Jiangsu, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Jilin, Hebei and Fujian, each representing different geographic and economic regions of China, found that Christians constituted approximately 4% of the population, of whom 3.54% were Protestants and 0.49% were Catholics.Yu Tao, University of Oxford.
A Solo, a Duet, or an Ensemble? Analysing the Recent Development of Religious Communities in Contemporary Rural China
'. ECRAN - Europe-China Research and Advice Network. University of Nottingham, 2012.
* 2008/2009: a household survey conducted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) counted 23 million Protestants (independent and registered) in China. * 2010: the "Chinese Spiritual Life Survey" counted 33 million Christians (~2% of the total population), of whom 30 million Protestants and 3 million Catholics.2010 Chinese Spiritual Life Survey conducted by Dr. Yang Fenggang, Purdue University’s Center on Religion and Chinese Society. Statistics published in: Katharina Wenzel-Teuber, David Strait.
People’s Republic of China: Religions and Churches Statistical Overview 2011
''. Religions & Christianity in Today's China, Vol. II, 2012, No. 3, pp. 29-54, .
* 2011: a survey conducted by the Baylor's Empirical Study of Values in China (ESVC) found 2.5% (~30 to 40 million) of the population of China self-identifying as Christian. * 2012: a survey conducted by the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) institute, found Christians forming 2.4% of the population of Han China, or between 30 and 40 million people in absolute numbers.China Family Panel Studies's survey of 2012. Published on: ''The World Religious Cultures'' issue 2014: 卢云峰:当代中国宗教状况报告——基于CFPS(2012)调查数据. Of these, 1.9% were Protestants and 0.4% were Catholics. * Surveys on religion in China conducted in the years 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011 by the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) of the Renmin University found that people self-identifying as Christians were, respectively for each year, 2.1%, 2.2%, 2.1% and 2.6% of the total population.China Family Panel Studies's survey of 2012. Published on: ''The World Religious Cultures'' issue 2014: 卢云峰:当代中国宗教状况报告——基于CFPS(2012)调查数据. p. 13, reporting the results of the Renmin University's Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) for the years 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011. ;Estimation, Estimates: * 2010: the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life estimated over 67 million Christians in China,The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: "Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Christian Population - Appendix C: Methodology for China"
December 19, 2011
of which 35 million "independent" Protestants, 23 million Three-Self Protestants, 9 million Catholics and 20,000 Orthodox Christians. * 2014: scholars at a conference for the 60th anniversary of the Three-Self Church showed that China has about 23 million to 40 million Protestants, 1.7% to 2.9% of the total population.
August, 5th 2014, People's Daily
Each year, about 500,000 people are baptized as Protestants. Protestants concentrate mainly in three regions: Henan, Anhui and Zhejiang.Miller, 2006. p. 186 In these provinces the Christian population is in the millions, yet small in percentage. For instance, in Zhejiang 2.8% of the population is officially Protestant as of 1999, higher than the national average. In Wenzhou, a city of Zhejiang, about one million people (approximately 11%) are Christians, the highest concentration in one city. The Protestant population consists predominantly of illiterate or semi-illiterate people, elderly people and women. These characteristics are confirmed by the findings of the Yu Tao survey of 2008, which also found that Protestantism has the lowest proportion of believers who are at the same time members of the Communist Party of China in comparison to other religions, and by the China Family Panel Studies' survey of 2012. The province of Hebei has a concentration of Catholics and is also home to the town of Donglu, site of an alleged Marian apparition and pilgrimage center. According to the Yu Tao survey of 2008, the Catholic population, though much smaller than that of the Protestants, is nevertheless younger, wealthier and better educated. The survey also found that Christianity overall has a higher proportion of ethnic minorities in China, ethnic minority believers than the other religions. Controversy exists regarding the veracity of estimates published by some sources. For example, Gerda Wielander (2013) has claimed that estimates of the number of Christians in China that have been spread by Western media may have been highly inflated. For instance, according to Asia Harvest, a US non-profit organization and "inter-denominational Christian ministry", there were 105 millions Christians in China in 2011. The compiler of these figures, Paul Hattaway, indicates that his figures are his own estimate, based on more than 2,000 published sources such as Internet reports, journals, and books, as well as interviews with house church leaders. The study points out that "owing to the difficulties of conducting such a [study] in China today – not the least of which is the sheer size of the country – there is [in the study’s rough estimation] a margin of error of 20 percent." Citing one of the aforementioned surveys, Gerda Wielander says that the actual number of Christians is around 30 million. Similarly, missionary researcher Tony Lambert has highlighted that an estimate of "one hundred million Chinese Christians" was already being spread by American Christian media in 1983, and has been further exaggerated, through a chain of misquotations, in the 2000s. Christopher Marsh (2011) too has been critical of these overestimations. On 6 January 2015, David Ferguson published on the ''
People's Daily The ''People's Daily'' () is the largest newspaper group in China. The paper is an official newspaper of the Central Committee Central committee is the common designation of a standing administrative body of communist parties, analogous to ...
'' the news satire, satirical news ''Merry Christmas, 100 million Chinese!'' criticising such type of journalism.


Demographics by province


Special administrations


=Hong Kong

= Christianity has been practiced in Hong Kong since 1841. As of 2010''Hong Kong Year Book'' (2011): Chapter 18 - ''Religion and Custom''
there are 843,000 Christians in Hong Kong (11.8% of the total population).


=Macau

= As of 2010 approximately 5% of the population of Macau self-identifies as Christian, predominantly Catholic.Zheng, VWT; Wan, PS. ''Religious beliefs and life experiences of Macao's residents'' 澳門居民的宗教信仰與生活經驗. On: ''Modern China Studies'' by Center for Modern China, 2010, v. 17 n. 4, p. 91-126. . «Drawing on empirical data obtained from three consecutive territory-wide household surveys conducted in 2005, 2007, and 2009 respectively, this paper attempts to shed light on the current religious profile of Macao residents.» Catholic missionaries were the first to arrive in Macau. In 1535, Portuguese traders obtained the rights to anchor ships in Macau's harbours and to carry out trading activities, though not the right to stay onshore. Around 1552–1553, they obtained temporary permission to erect storage sheds onshore, in order to dry out goods drenched by sea water; they soon built rudimentary stone houses around the area now called Nam Van. In 1576, Pope Gregory XIII established the Roman Catholic Diocese of Macau. In 1583, the Portuguese in Macau were permitted to form a Senate to handle various issues concerning their social and economic affairs under strict supervision of the Chinese authority, but there was no transfer of sovereignty. Macau prospered as a port but was the target of repeated failed attempts by the Netherlands, Dutch to conquer it in the 17th century. Cai Gao was the first mainland Chinese convert of the Protestant missions in China 1807–1953, 19th-century Protestant missions. He was baptized by Robert Morrison (missionary), Robert Morrison at Macau in 1814.


Autonomous regions


=Inner Mongolia

=


=Tibet

= The Qing government permitted Christian missionaries to enter and proselytize in Tibetan lands, in order to weaken the power of the Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhist lamas, who refused to give allegiance to the Chinese. The Tibetan lamas were alarmed by Catholic missionaries converting natives to Roman Catholicism. During the 1905 Tibetan Rebellion the Tibetan Buddhist Gelug Yellow Hat sect led a Tibetan revolt, with Tibetan men being led by lamas against Chinese officials, western Christian missionaries and native Christian converts. Wine making vineyards were left behind by them.


=Xinjiang

= Christianity is a minority religion in the Xinjiang region of the People's Republic of China. The dominant ethnic group, the Uyghur people, Uyghur, are predominantly
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...

Muslim
and very few are known to be Christian. In 1904, George W. Hunter (missionary), George Hunter with the China Inland Mission opened the first mission station for CIM in Xinjiang. But already in 1892, the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden started missions in the area around Kashgar, and later built mission stations, churches, hospitals and schools in Yarkant County, Yarkant and Yengisar. In the 1930s there were several hundreds of Christians among this people, but because of persecution the churches were destroyed and the believers were scattered. The missionaries were forced to leave because of ethnic and factional battles during the Kumul Rebellion in the late 1930s. p.167; For more on the Swedish mission in Xinjiang see John Hultvall (1981),
Mission and Revolution in Central Asia
'


=Ningxia Hui

= Though the Hui people live in nearly every part of China, they make up about 30% of the population of Ningxia. They are almost entirely Muslim and very few are Christian.


=Guangxi Zhuang

= Rapid church growth is reported to have taken place among the Zhuang people in the early 1990s. Though still predominantly Buddhist and animistic, the region of Guangxi was first visited in 1877 by Protestant missionary Edward Fishe of the China Inland Mission. He died the same year.


Restrictions and international interest

In large cities with international links such as Beijing, foreign visitors have established Christian communities which meet in public establishments such as hotels and, sometimes, local churches. These fellowships, however, are typically restricted only to holders of non-Chinese passports. American evangelism, evangelist Billy Graham visited China in 1988 with his wife Ruth Bell Graham, Ruth; it was a homecoming for her since she had been born in China to missionary parents L. Nelson Bell and his wife Virginia. Since the 1980s, U.S. officials visiting China have on multiple occasions visited Chinese churches, including President of the United States, President George W. Bush, who attended one of Beijing's five officially recognized Protestant churches during a November 2005 Asia tour, and the Kuanjie Protestant Church in 2008. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attended Palm Sunday services in Beijing in 2005. Government authorities Freedom of religion in China, limit proselytism, particularly by foreigners and unregistered religious groups, but permit proselytism in state-approved religious venues and private settings.Se
U.S. State Department "International Religious Freedom Report 2008"
/ref> During the 2008 Summer Olympics, 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, three United States, American Christian protesters were deported from China after a demonstration at Tiananmen Square. Pope Benedict XVI urged China to be open to Christianity, and said that he hoped the Olympic Games would offer an example of coexistence among people from different countries. Unregistered Roman Catholic clergy has faced political repression, in large part due to its avowed loyalty to the Holy See, Vatican, which the Chinese government claims interferes in the country's internal affairs. The Associated Press reported in 2018 that "Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982." This has involved "destroying crosses, burning bibles, shutting churches and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith," actions taken against "so-called underground or house churches that defy government restrictions." In April 2020, Chinese authorities visited Christian homes in Linfen and informed welfare recipients that their benefits would be stopped unless they removed all Christian cross, crosses and replaced any displays of Jesus with portraits of Chairman of the Communist Party of China, Chairman Mao Zedong and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, General Secretary Xi Jinping. In June 2020, state officials oversaw the demolition of Sunzhuang Church in Henan province. Prior to the Church being demolished, one man was arrested and at least two women were injured.


See also

* Bibliography of Christianity in China * Chinese Rites Controversy * Historical Bibliography of the China Inland Mission * Timeline of Christian missions * List of Protestant theological seminaries in the People's Republic of China * Heterodox teachings (Chinese law)


Notes


References


Citations


Sources and further reading

* * * * Daniel H. Bays. ''Christianity in China: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present''. Stanford University Press, 1999. * * Joel Carpenter, Kevin R. den Dulk. ''Christianity in Chinese Public Life: Religion, Society, and the Rule of Law''. Palgrave Pivot, 2014. *
Excerpt
* * * * * Lee Shiu Keung. ''The Cross and the Lotus''. Christian Study Centre on Chinese Religion and Culture, Hong Kong, 1971. * Harrison, Henrietta, "'A Penny for the Little Chinese': The French Holy Childhood Association in China, 1843–1951." ''American Historical Review'' 113.1 (2008): 72–92
online
* Christopher Marsh. ''Religion and the State in Russia and China: Suppression, Survival, and Revival''. Bloomsbury Academic, 2011. * James Miller. ''Chinese Religions in Contemporary Societies''. ABC-CLIO, 2006. * Mungello, D. E. “Reinterpreting the History Of Christianity in China.” ''Historical Journal,'' 55#2 (2012), Pp. 533–552
online
* * * ''Handbook of Christianity in China, Volume One: 635-1800'', (Handbook of Oriental Studies: Section 4 China), Edited by Nicolas Standaert, Brill: Leiden - Boston 2000, 964 pp., * ''Handbook of Christianity in China. Volume Two: 1800 - present''. (Handbook of Oriental Studies: Section 4 China), Edited by R. G. Tiedemann, Brill: Leiden - Boston 2010, 1050 pp., * Thompson, Phyllis. The Reluctant Exodus. 1979. Singapore: OMF Books. * Varg, Paul. ''Missionaries, Chinese, and Diplomats: The American Protestant Missionary Movement in China, 1890-1952'' (1958
online
* Gerda Wielander. ''Christian Values in Communist China''. Routledge, 2013.


External links

* * Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History,

" Includes Bibliographies (an unannotated listing); biographies of people who played a role in the history of Christianity in China, web links.
Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity
* Orthodoxwiki:Timeline of Orthodoxy in China, Timeline of Orthodoxy in China
Preservation for the Documentation of Chinese Christianity 香港浸會大學圖書館 華人基督宗教文獻保存計劃

Documentation of Christianity in Hong Kong Database (香港基督教文獻數據庫)
Special Collections & Archives, Hong Kong Baptist University Library.

Special Collections & Archives, Hong Kong Baptist University Library.
Christianity in Contemporary China Clippings 當代中國基督教發展剪報數據庫
Special Collections & Archives, Hong Kong Baptist University Library.

* [http://libproject.hkbu.edu.hk/trsimage/lantern/home.html China Through the Eyes of CIM Missionaries] Special Collections & Archives, Hong Kong Baptist University Library.
Library Holdings on China Inland Mission
Special Collections & Archives, Hong Kong Baptist University Library. {{Christianity footer Christianity in China,