missionaries reenter China but encounter many obstacles.
Chapel from Tao Fong Shan, meaning "mountain of the Christ
Wind," sits atop a mountain in Hong Kong as the center of the
Christian Mission to the Buddhists
inspired by Francis Xavier first
brought Christianity to China. They planted a small Christian community,
but China remained closed to westerners. In the nineteenth century, economic
colonialism led to the Opium War in which
England forced China to open several port cities to foreigners. Missionary
societies and Orders
quickly sent personnel to China, where they sought Chinese converts who
could become evangelists. An unexpected development was the Tai Ping rebellion.
This Chinese agrarian mass movement invoked certain elements of Christianity
in a rebellion against the ruling dynasty. In 1853 this movement took
over the city of Nanking. By 1865 the Chinese government suppressed the
movement at the cost of perhaps twenty million lives. That same year Hudson
Taylor began the China Inland Mission, which became for a time the
largest missionary project in the world.