Portal:Christianity in China

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Christianity in China (called 基督教, or Christ religion) is a minority religion that comprises Protestants, Catholics, and a small number of Orthodox Christians. Although its lineage in China is not as ancient as beliefs such as Confucianism or Taoism, or comparable missionary faiths such as Mahayana Buddhism, Christianity has developed in China since at least the 7th century and has demonstrated increasing influence for over 200 years. Growth has been more significant since the loosening of restrictions on religion after the 1970s within the People's Republic. Religious practices are still often tightly controlled by government authorities. Chinese over age 18 in the PRC are permitted to be involved with officially sanctioned Christian meetings through the "Three-Self Patriotic Movement" or the "Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association". Many Chinese Christians also meet in "unregistered" house church meetings. Reports of sporadic persecution against such Christians in Mainland China have caused concern among outside observers. Surveys of the 2010s report between 30 and 40 million Christians, and other estimates between 50 and 60 million.

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Illustration of the distribution of Bibles in China up to 1908
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...

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Macau Protestant Chapel - 20060127.jpg
Credit: Bubbha

Morrison chapel at the Old Protestant Cemetery in Macau

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Feng Yuxiang
Feng Yuxiang (simplified Chinese: 冯玉祥; traditional Chinese: 馮玉祥; pinyin: Féng Yùxíang; Wade–Giles: Feng Yü-hsiang) (18821948) 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.



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