THE CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA PORTAL
This portal a part of WikiProject Christianity.
Christianity in China appeared in the 7th century, during the Tang dynasty, but did not take root until it was reintroduced in the 16th century by Jesuit missionaries. Today, it comprises Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals and a small number of Orthodox Christians. Although its lineage in China is not as ancient as Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism or Confucianism, Christianity, through various ways, has been present in China since at least the 7th century and has gained significant influence during the last 200 years. The number of Chinese Christians has increased significantly since the easing of restrictions on religious activity during economic reforms in the late 1970s; Christians were four million before 1949 (three million Catholics and one million Protestants).
Accurate data on Chinese Christians is hard to access. According to the most recent internal surveys there are approximately 31 million Christians in China today (2.3% of the total population). On the other hand, some international Christian organizations estimate there are tens of millions more, which choose not to publicly identify as such. The practice of religion continues to be tightly controlled by government authorities. Chinese over the age of 18 are only permitted to join officially sanctioned Christian groups registered with the government-approved Protestant Three-Self Church and China Christian Council and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church. On the other hand, many Christians practice in informal networks and unregistered congregations, often described as house churches or underground churches, the proliferation of which began in the 1950s when many Chinese Protestants and Catholics began to reject state-controlled structures purported to represent them. Members of such groups are said to represent the "silent majority" of Chinese Christians and represent many diverse theological traditions.
Until the 19th century, no Chinese Bible Translations
had been published, though translations existed, in private hands among the Roman Catholic
churches, they were not distributed freely. Protestant missionaries, who arrived later, pioneered the translation of vernacular dialects, as well as the printing, and distribution of Bibles so that the knowledge of the Christian Gospel
message could be more widely known in China.
The first Protestant effort to undertake the work of translating the Scriptures for the Chinese was made by the Rev. William Willis Moseley, of Daventry, in Northamptonshire, England. He found, in the British Museum, a manuscript translation in Chinese of a Harmony of the four Gospels, the Acts, and all of Paul’s Epistles. He then published “A Memoir on the Importance and Practicability of Translating and Printing the Holy Scriptures in the Chinese Language; and of circulating them in that vast Empire”. Copies of this memoir were sent to many Christian leaders.
The Archbishop of Canterbury recommended that the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge print the Chinese Bible; but, after four years deliberation, the project was abandoned...
; traditional Chinese
: Féng Yùxíang
: Feng Yü-hsiang
) was a warlord
during Republican China
As the son of an officer in the Qing Imperial Army, Feng spent his youth immersed in the military life. He joined the army at age 16 and proved himself to be hard working and motivated.
Feng, like many young officers, was involved in revolutionary activity and was nearly executed for treason. He later joined Yuan Shikai's Beiyang Army and converted to Christianity in 1914. Feng's career as a warlord began soon after the collapse of the Yuan Shikai government in 1916. Feng, however, distinguished himself from other regional militarists by governing his domains with a mixture of paternalistic Christian socialism and military discipline (he was reputed to have liked baptizing his troops with water from a fire hose), thus earning the nickname the 'Christian General'.
By 1929 Feng's Guominjun clique controlled most of north-central China, but because he was under increasing pressure from the expanding power of the Nanjing government, he and Yan Xishan launched the Central Plains War against Chiang Kai-shek but were defeated by forces loyal to Nanjing.
Stripped of his military power, Feng spent the early 1930s criticizing Chiang's failure to resist Japanese aggression. On May 26, 1933, Feng Yuxiang became commander-in-chief of the "Chahar People's Anti-Japanese Army Alliance", with Ji Hongchang as frontline commander. With a strength claimed by Feng to be over 100,000 men, Ji Hongchang's army pushed against Duolun, and by July 1933, drove the Japanese and Manchukuoan troops out of Chahar Province. By late July, Feng Yuxiang and Ji Hongchang established, at Kalgan, the "Committee for Recovering the four provinces of the Northeast". Chiang Kai-shek, fearing that communists had taken control of the Anti-Japanese Allied Army, launched a concerted siege of the army with 60,000 men. Surrounded by Chiang Kai-shek and the Japanese, Feng Yuxiang resigned his post, while Ji Hongchang fought on for a while before seeking asylum in Tianjin in January 1934. Between 1935 and 1945, however, Feng Yuxiang supported the KMT and held various positions in the Nationalist army and government. From 1935 to 1938 he was the Vice-President of the National Military Council and a member until 1945. After the Second Sino-Japanese War began in 1937 he was Commander in Chief of the 6th War Area.
After World War II, he traveled to the United States where he was an outspoken critic of the Truman administration’s support for the Chiang regime. He died in a shipboard fire on the Black Sea en route to the Soviet Union in 1948 and his remains were buried with honors in China in 1953.
Did you know...
The interior of a former Methodist church in Wuhan, converted to an upscale pastry shop with a Christian-themed decor
"Merry Christmas" signs (usually, in English only) are not uncommon in China during the winter holiday season, even in areas with little sign of Christian observance
The Nestorian Stele entitled 大秦景教流行中國碑 "Stele to the propagation in China of the luminous religion of Daqin".
Haidian Christian Church during the Christmas in 2007, Beijing. Haidian Church is operated by Three-Self Patriotic Movement.
A Roman Catholic church by the Lancang (Mekong) River at Cizhong, Yunnan Province, China. It was built by French missionaries in the mid-19th century, but was burnt during the anti-foreigner movement in 1905 and rebuilt in the 1920s. The congregation is mainly Tibetan, but includes the Han, Naxi, Lisu, Yi, Bai and Hui ethnic groups.
Painting of Chinese Martyrs of 1307, Chapel of the Martyrs of Nepi in Katowice Panewniki.
A map of the 200-odd Jesuit churches and missions established across China at the time of Philippe Couplet & al.'s 1687 Confucius, Philosopher of the Chinese.
Mapping of Christianity in China by province according to the surveys.
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