Nestorianism in China
Middle Ages

A Syrian form of Christianity likely planted in China sometime in the sixth century.

The beginnings of Nestorian Christianity in China are not certainly known. A stone monument dating from the late eighth century records that in a period of cultural openness durin g the T'ang dynasty, a Syrian bishop brought Nestorian Christianity to the captial of China in 635. After a brief period of peace this church was threatened by Buddhist persecution and Muslim conquests which isolated the Chinese Nestorians from their base in Persia. A wave of persecution in the ninth century and the fall of the T'ang dynasty in 907 caused public Christianity to vanish for a time in China. Nestorianism appeared again in the Middle Kingdom in 1260 in the wake of Mongol invasions and a regime more favorable to travel, trade, and a Christian presence.
A map of China during the medieval reign of the Mongol empire.


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