China: The Hidden Tradition

Original English Sermon
Authored by Mike Furey

Text: Acts 17:30 " he commands all people everywhere to repent."

Date: Spring 1983; Revised August 1998. [Endnote]added March 1999

Preface: I offer this as a meditation. I originally wrote this as a term paper for a college course on the history of China. We know so little of what really happened in history. This entire meditation is only speculation and interpretation and not conclusive. One thing is conclusive: only judgment day will reveal the truth and each person must bow to the Creator in his or her life time and surrender in repentance to the lordship of the risen Savior, Jesus Christ.

Dedication: This page is dedicated to any Chinese person considering a faith life in Christ.


     After the ascension of Christ, the spread of the gospel was wide both to the East and to the West. But how far did it spread? Could the Chinese have gotten the gospel back then when distances were unimaginable? Why did the gospel of philosophical Buddhism begin to take in China during the early Christian era instead of the perfect gospel of Christ? Did God ignore the sixty million Chinese souls at the time of Christ? This message will attempt to understand the answers to the above questions.

     First, the accessibility to China needs consideration. The accessibility to China can be considered from three areas: the range of the empire, the ocean routes, and the trade routes.

     While the Roman empire was mighty and known to every soul in the West, China was a might empire equal to Rome in the East. During the time of Christ, China prospered as a full-fledged empire run by the Han dynasty. Under the Han, the Chinese conquered as far west as the Caspian Sea. Only ancient Parthia (Iran) came between the two great powers of China and Italy.[1] The Great Wall of China had been built two hundred years earlier. The government was already entrenched in the traditions and the administrative system based on Confucianism. China was already Chinese. It boasted itself as the superior culture of the world. It found other cultures barbaric and undesirable. After all, China's high code of ethics as taught by Confucius truly was a superior and sufficient political system, which even to this day guides a billion Chinese in a society with a crime rate less than that of the USA with one quarter the population of modern China. This attitude of superiority remains to the present day. In the first century the Chinese empire saw itself as being the center or middle of the world, as "the focus of all human experience," and "the hub around which the world outside was expected to revolve."[2] In short, the fact that China was an empire increased its accessibility. It had conquered lands that were adjacent to the Roman empire where Christ himself was alive and living history.

     In relation to the empire of China, a brief word needs to be said about Parthia. This ancient and forgotten kingdom extended from the border of the Roman empire to India. Remarkably, Parthia endured four hundred years against the Roman empire. How? Theologically an explanation can be offered. The Jews were there in great numbers. At the time of Christ most of the Jews lived east of the Euphrates in Parthia. Ancient Assyria, which had carried the ten tribes into captivity, had been conquered by Parthia. Likewise Parthia had conquered Babylonia, where Nebuchadnezzar had taken the remaining Israelites and the two tribes of Judah. It is a historical fact that only a small fraction of the Jews had returned to Jerusalem at the time of Cyrus. At the time of the first century there were no "lost tribes," at least the Apostle Paul did not think of them as lost but only as dispersed. The visitors to Jerusalem at the time of Pentecost included "Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, and dwellers in Mesopotamia," (Acts 2:9). These pilgrims to the Feast of Pentecost undoubtedly carried home the news of the crucifixion and resurrection and recounted the great experience upon the apostles and the sermon of Peter. The Church of the East also holds the belief that Peter wrote his first epistle from Babylon (I Peter 5:13). This church grew to maturity in the now forgotten kingdom of Parthia. From the end of the second century to the beginning of the fourteenth this church was marked by a flaming missionary zeal! Through out Central Asia, Turkestan, Mongolia, China, and Japan, its messengers spread the gospel.[3] In conclusion, because imperial China of the first century had borders reaching to Parthia, which bordered the Roman empire, it had access to the message of Christ.

     In addition to the range of the empire, the ocean routes to China gave her access to the gospel. During the second century of the Common Era, the Arabs and the Romans reached the shores of China:[4]

"Ptolemy, writing from Alexandria in the second century A.D., gives their farthest eastern point of navigation as Kattijara, the Malay Peninsula or possibly Cochin China. In 166 A.D. [sic], it is reported that Syrian merchants (claiming to be envoys of the Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius) landed on the coast of Cochin China, seeking the court of the Emperor. Roman envoys are reported in Canton in 226 and 284 A.D. [sic]. The Arabs were intrepid seafarers and very early sailed their ships through to the Persian Gulf, then to India...up the coast of Cochin China to China Proper."

     In short, the sea routes were a possible means of spreading the gospel but not perhaps until the second century. One further amazing "fact" is that in the seventh century before Christ the Chinese supposedly navigated to South America to influence the first Peruvians named the Chavin, and to Mexico to the Nahuatlans.[5] Technically, it is possible to travel around the world by canoe if one stays close to the coast line of the continents. The largest distance one would have to travel away from land is between Russia and Alaska with one hundred and twenty miles in the Bering Strait, which had been crossed by migrants as far back as civilization's beginnings. (When the Jesuits came to evangelize South America in the sixteenth century, they were shocked that an oral and uniform tradition of Christianity had existed among the diverse tribes of different languages from "time immemorial.")[6] Their trip to South America is seriously doubted.

     In regard to the accessibility to China, the most valid means of access were the trade routes or land routes. The China of the first century already had trade routes opened with the West. The Chinese Marco Polo was Chang Ch'ien, who traveled through deserts and who stimulated China's interest for some Western products. In 150 B.C.E. the Chinese empire "adopted an aggressive political and commercial policy toward its Western neighbors."[7] This new policy caused travel and trade. Paths were worn out over the desert north of Tibet and became known as "the silk routes." By the time of Christ, silk from China became a "familiar material for fine fabrics in the Mediterranean world."[8] Of course, history has no exact record of how long these silk routes existed, but in the time of the Hans in the East and the Romans in the West, it was a bustling highway of trade.[9] Though China was not too interested in Rome, Rome was interested in China.[10]

"In the Roman writings there are many allusions to the connection between East and West. According to them, actual trade existed between China and the Roman Empire as early as 36 B.C. [sic] when Marcus Antonius was governing Egypt. Horace speaks of Chinese arrows, and Virgil, Ptolemy, and Pliny the Elder, all refer to Chinese products, - silks and furs."

     On the other hand, there are descriptions of the Roman empire in the official histories of the Han dynasty. These accounts are fragmented and largely inaccurate but they did acknowledge to some degree the cultural and political importance of Rome. Overall, ancient Rome had no impact on the lifestyle of the Chinese of the Han period.[11] In short, the trade routes were well established at the time of Christ. Products came. News came. Did the gospel come? The Buddhist gospel did.

    Buddhism came to China during the first century of the Common Era. It was along these silk routes that the evangelists of Indian Buddhism spread their teachings all over Central Asia.[12] In fact, Indian missionaries of two rival sects of Buddhism went into China along the silk routes. In India, the religious situation of Buddhism was prosperous and flowering in the opening years of the Common Era. In China the political situation was conditioning the people for some religion, some truth to fill the gap left by the civility of Confucianism and the rigidity by which it was enforced. Christianity had means of access, but Buddhism came and filled the spiritual void.

    Why did Buddhism succeed in China? To paraphrase one author:[13]

"During the Han dynasty the Indian faith agreed on the ethical emphasis of the native faiths, adjusted itself in part to the family system, was tolerant of the native religious beliefs, and yet at the same time brought in definite teachings about a future life and the offer of age long happiness or prolonged woe, a rich mystical life, an elaborate philosophy, an ornate ceremonial and an extensive literature. It appealed, moreover, to both the educated and the uneducated. In other words, without running entirely counter to any of the fundamental native beliefs or institutions, it strengthened some of them and offered to fill a void."

     Some of the reasons known for Buddhism's initial success in China are:[14]

  • China regarded it not as a foreign religion but an offshoot of Taoism. Furthermore, Taoist terms were needed to explain Buddhist concepts. It mixed well.
  • The political problems of that day caused a general human desire for salvation. The protection of powerful gods was comforting along with the Buddhist monks approach in not trying to propagate very specific Indian ideas.
  • The Buddhist philosophy considered the world to be an illusion so the magic "party tricks" were plentiful and appealed to the common people.
  • Monasticism meant renunciation of the cares of this world, and freedom from taxes, military service or compulsory labor.
  • Confucianism emphasized relationships but solace was needed at a time of social disintegration. Buddhism offered a mass religion to react to the disillusion of the times by uniting persons in a dream of universal salvation.
  • It appealed to all levels of society. The poor received an easy salvation through calling on the name of Buddha. The rich displayed wealth and worked for salvation in the construction of temples. The intellectuals had a rich literature and scholarly traditions.

     After a while Buddhism did more than fill a void. It became one of the Three Doctrines or one of the three great systems of thought that dominated Chinese society along with Confucianism and Taoism. Actually Buddhism did not become strong under the later Han (A.D. 23-220), perhaps because K'ung Fu-tzu's teachings, supported by the government, was too deeply entrenched. For its greatest growth it was to wait centuries after the Han. Then the realm became divided, Confucianism became weakened by the division, and Buddhism became stronger over the less resistant Confucianists.[15]

     Buddhism began losing ground in China at the close of the T'ang dynasty. A revival of Confucianism, several edicts against tax-exempt monasteries of all religions, and a decay in India of Buddhism and subsequently its missionary influence, all these factors caused a waning in China's Buddhism.[16] Though Buddhism would never be the same again in China, its influence remained.[17] In contrast, Christianity's influence is hardly detectable until the thirteenth century.

     As for Christianity's influence in the world of the first century and the apostolic age, it was booming in many localities. It spread just as fast to the East as it did to the West. For instance, in the second and third centuries India already had Christian communities.[18] Since the silk and ocean routes, and the range of the Chinese empire gave the gospel access to China, the gospel hypothetically could have been preached in China in the early centuries since the Great Commission of Jesus. No one really knows what happened. No solid historical evidence exists to document any Christian witness or influence in China until A.D. 635. In A.D. 552 some Persian monks, probably of the Nestorian Church and probably missionaries, carried the silkworm from China. Probably. Indeed, most of the gospel witness to China was carried on by merchants and traders through out China's evangelical history. There are some who believe the gospel was brought to China by the followers of Mani born in A.D. 216. Mani and his follower carried a word of Christ through out Asia, although his doctrines were considered heretical by the orthodox. In A.D. 273 he returned to Persia from China and two years later he was murdered by Zoroastrians. Manichaeism was then banned in Persia but became a strong movement in Central Asia among the nomads until the coming of the Nestorian Christians of Syria.[19]

     Any earlier than A.D. 275 makes Christianity's presence in China even more uncertain. "The Syrian Church says that St. Thomas preached in China. Others suppose that some who listened to the Savior's instructions, preached this doctrine in the Far East, while Peter and Paul were...west of the land of Judea."[20] The legend of the Syrian Church says the Apostle Thomas, after preaching in China and making three or four disciples, returned back to India.[21] The legend of St. Thomas is mixed with fact. It is a fact that St. Thomas did preach in India as his tomb is in South India at Meliapur.[22] The legend opens a possibility but does not provide historical fact which is needed to satisfy scholarship. The best evidence against it is the Chinese. The Chinese were very careful to record the arrival of Buddhist monks from over the mountains but they write nothing at all about the arrival of a Christian apostle. Written evidence comes long after in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when the Augustinian, Dominican, and Jesuit missionaries remarked upon the legend. The medieval Franciscans seem to be ignorant of the tradition. Other medieval documents do not mention it. The earliest documentary evidence comes from two liturgical sources not later than the eighth century. The very early church is silent on the subject. But Arnobius of the third century has a famous veiled reference in his book Disputes Against The Gentiles. There he accounts the triumphs of the church, lists the counties, and names briefly "the work done among the Seres (Chinese)..."[23]The Acts Of St. Thomas makes no mention of that kingdom. A Christian writer named Philip from the Syrian Edessa in the second century (an important episcopal center of the church) gives an account of Chinese morals but makes no reference to the apostle's evangelization nor any Christian influence, yet he makes reference to how the Parthians, men of Kashan, had received Christ. A.C. Moule has collected in a scholarly manner all the relevant data on the subject of Christianity's presence in China in his work Christians In China Before The Year 1550 printed in 1930, London. Though the subject can be carried on into long detail, for brevity's sake, the conclusion of scholarship goes against St. Thomas' having preached in China. Even if he had, it amounted to nothing. However, assuming the gospel did arrive in China as legend says, why did it come to no effect? By looking at the facts of Nestorianism and its Christianity of A.D. 635 and forward, perhaps a theory, based on the presupposition that the gospel reached China in the first century, can be formulated.

     What is Nestorian Christianity? It derives its name from Nestorius. Nestorius is first heard as a member of the monastery of Euprepius near Antioch. Nestorius was the patriarchate of Constantinople from A.D. 428-431. Controversy arose soon after he was consecrated patriarch of Constantinople. Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, advocated the cult of mariolatry to which Nestorius objected. Nestorius appealed to the Church of the East and to its doctrinal faith received from the apostles as defense for his stand. The Council of Ephesus deposed and excommunicated him in an illegal manner, not waiting for the proper authorities to judge and without offering any trial or opportunity to make his defense. Because of his disgrace eventually he was exiled to the desert and was persecuted even so far as Egypt. He soon died. His followers, unstoppable even by edicts, spread his teaching and planted churches through out the East.[24] Whatever they believed, the Nestorians believed it wholeheartedly as their zealous missionary efforts prove. They were scattered over a wider territory than were the members of any Christian group before the 1200's. Had they been supported by powerful Christian monarchs the entire religious map of Central Asia might have been altered. Their churches were to be found from Mesopotamia to China and from South India to Mongolia as previously mentioned.[25]

     As far as the theology of Nestorianism, historically it held that God is Lord of all and that man was created in God's image:[26]

"At a specific point in time, God's Spirit settled on the prophets, finally appearing in the form of the son of the Father, Jesus Christ. The resurrection of the dead and the mystery of baptism remained essential to Nestorian theology. There was no belief in purgatory, but somehow, the Nestorians still felt it useful to pray for those souls long since departed."

     Whether or not this was the Nestorianism brought into China by the first documented missionary named Alopen is unknown. However, a stone monument was discovered in 1625 that sheds light on the theology of Nestorianism in A.D. 800. The stone monument had written on it the calligraphy of the ninth century. The monument revealed.[27]

  • An account of creation and fall of man.
  • The Messiah's birth, teachings, and ascension.
  • The Messiah's perfecting character, defeating the devices of the devil.
  • Baptism by water and the Spirit.

     Furthermore, the monument is orthodox in terminology:[28]

"It has one strange omission, namely all mention of the crucifixion and death of Christ, although the passage on the Tablet, 'He hung up the shining sun in order to triumph over the empire of darkness,' does contain the word hiu 'hung up' and is an allusion no doubt very veiled to the Crucifixion of our Lord." But there is a cross at the head of the Tablet. It is probably that the Chinese of the seventh century, as those of the sixteenth and today, used the crucifix as a means of deriding the Christian religion. Hence, these early missionaries thought it right not to expose the most sacred trust to the mockery of the Gentiles.

     The first missionary Alopen, judging from the Nestorian theology on the monument, brought in an orthodox form of Christianity. He was an "evangelical." His gospel was more sound than the eastern churches from which Nestorianism departed; those churches had begun worshipping "the mother of God," Mary. Moreover, judging from the date of his arrival in China (A.D. 635), the gospel of Christ arrived at a very fertile and critical time in that land. In A.D. 632 Mohammed died. One year later his followers went on a wild conquest of the world. In speculation, perhaps the true religion of Christianity was given a push in the east by the one true God to thwart Islam and to give the Chinese another chance for true repentance towards the Lord Jesus Christ.

     Getting back to the facts and away from speculation and interpretation, one reason the gospel had been "accepted" in China was political advantage. When Islamic soldiers began attacking China, the Chinese dynasty of the T'ang received the children of light to serve their own ends. "The bolstering up of the Christian principalities" was "a Bulwark against the common enemy from Arabia."[29] It was unusual for the T'ang to let the foreign culture of Christianity into China because normally the Chinese have been hostile to other cultures. The T'ang emperor received Alopen and his monks into the ancient capital of Sian-fu. They began a Christian church in this cradle of Chinese civilization. They became known as "the Luminous Religion." The church prospered by edict and monetary support of the T'ang. Though the Golden Age of Buddhism characterized this entire T'ang dynasty, Buddhism had been suppressed a few years before Nestorianism's arrival during the T'ang rule.[30]

     For the next two hundred and ten years or from A.D. 635 till 845`the Nestorian faith continued in China. The church was not suppressed until A.D. 845 when Empress Wu came to power. She was encouraged by the Buddhists to persecute Christians.[31] In A.D. 781 the monument was erected and later buried by believers during the persecutions. In 1625 the monument was re-discovered. When the stone was discovered it was a shock to the world because the presence of Christian missionaries during A.D. 635-845 was totally forgotten by 1625. The Nestorians left no influence upon the lives of the Chinese. All that they brought with them they took when they were forced out, except for a few remains buried in the ground. In other words, the Nestorians failed. They failed to implant the message of Christ into the Chinese heart. Perhaps St. Thomas had failed there, too in the first century or so. They failed so terribly no ordinary Chinese person had even known they had existed in China before the thirteenth century during which a second wave of Nestorians hit the Chinese Mongols. Why did the Nestorians fail? Several reasons are offered:[32]

  • Its chief adherents were non Chinese who were residents under the powerful T'ang emperors as merchants, soldiers, or missionaries. There was a very limited number of Chinese believers.
  • It arrived at a time when no special need for a new faith was felt. Buddhism had filled a vacuum and, though suppressed, it was still flourishing from the Golden Age.
  • Missionaries were separated from the center of their church by immense distances and could look for little assistance and inspiration from the main body of their fellow believers.
  • At the end of the T'ang, political disorder hampered all activity including foreign commerce. Thus, it endangered the lives of foreign residents and made missionary work difficult.
  • The church was state supported. When the rulers changed hands, the church was weakened.

     Other probable reasons for Nestorianism's failure are:[33]

  • Ancestor worship dates back to the earliest times and is intimately bound up with the most important social institution of China, that is, the family. To attack it, to modify it would be revolutionary, impious, and subversive to morals. Even the state is tied up in ceremonies stemming from ancestor worship.
  • Christianity is accused of breaking up the life of the village, the city, and their holiday celebrations. To refuse to contribute to the village celebrations would be dereliction of duty.
  • Even the commerce and guilds had religious features and for a Christian to worship on Sunday meant monetary loss to the convert.
  • Christianity is foreign.
  • China already had well organized and time honored religious systems and philosophies of Animism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism.
  • Christianity itself is intolerant and cannot compromise with other faiths. A Chinese Christian would have a hard time in society where the Three Doctrines are daily lived.
  • Christianity is inflexible having distinct molds of doctrine. Missionaries propagate their faith in the form they have received it.
  • Christianity is suffering from schism. Christians have no friendliness or trust for each other, being a divided witness. This factor did not hurt Nestorianism of the first and second wave as they had no competition with other Christians.
  • When Christianity is "accepted," it is adulterated by animism and polytheism. The Chinese are eclectic by nature. It is also difficult to express Christian concepts such as God and sin. Also, their strong ethical sense is not based on the love of God but on proper etiquette based on Confucius, which is a real roadblock between cultures.

     Another author cites two reasons for Nestorianism's failure or Christianity's failure in general in China over the ages:[34]

  • The missionaries did not have the foresight to nurture Christian leadership among the Chinese people. They tended to try to westernize the Chinese. So when the missionaries were forced out, the church went too.
  • The missionaries worked to gain the confidence and approval of just the ruling clan of China. The Nestorians were not sensitive to the real needs of the Chinese people, though undoubtedly cultural reasons caused the lack of understanding. This neglect of the ordinary people not only hindered the missionaries' efforts to spread the gospel, but ultimately minimized the genuine acceptance of Christ's teachings by the Chinese people. When the gospel did begin to "take" in Chinese soil, it was through the efforts of missionaries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries who did identify with the Chinese of all clans.

     When trying to research information about ancient China and the origin of the church there, one needs to know the language of most European countries and the languages of Chinese writings.[35] To write on the reasons it has failed one depends on secondary sources. Perhaps the most profound reason for the failure of early or any Christianity in China is not recorded on any ancient text anyway. Furthermore, perhaps the most profound reason for the failure of Christianity in China is that Christianity never failed. It was rejected.

     One modern missionary, Leonard Outerbridge, who writes on the losses of the church in China because of the Communist takeover, says, "We can think of the present losses in China as the will of God or the work of the devil."[36] This missionary believes the Communist takeover is a judgment of God and that if the Communists had not risen to kick the gospel out, then some other movement would have. The missionary admits failure in the presentation and method of sharing the gospel. He feels judgment upon the work of missions in China, but does not oversimplify by blaming political problems as the cause of its failures. He failed. God judged his work. At the same time, the Chinese rejected the message. God judged them. His book goes into more detail on how he and other Americans have failed in China. Basically, the United States turned to liberalism and was not producing believers so how could the blind lead the blind? If the Christian universities in the West were not producing Christians, how could universities founded by the West in the Far East produce Christians? The United States was an organized religious center emphasizing programs instead of the person of Jesus Christ. He writes that "Communism is a criticism of anemic Christianity." The real crisis in China is not economical or political but spiritual. The Chinese Church became lost because it was largely too dependent upon the Western Church which had first lost its way. Christianity and the person of Jesus Christ could have brought great prosperity to China. The gospel is either a blessing or a curse. Its acceptance brings prosperity both inwardly and outwardly. Its rejection brings sure and terrible judgment. In this way, Christianity has helped Communism blacken China. He says that modern revolutionary China was really born out of the Christian impact upon Chinese life and thought. Unfortunately Christians were not true to the revolutionary nature of their own faith. After one hundred years of Christian influence in the modern era, the country was ripe for the Soviets to capitalize on China's crisis. While Christians were in China the T'ai-ping rebellion took place (1850-1864). Then the Boxer rebellion arose (1900), then the empire toppled and the Republic set up (1911). Then Communism took over (1949). Then Christian missionaries were murdered or expelled.

     I wonder did something similar to the 1949 judgment of God in China happen in the first century? Perhaps. Did something similar happen in the ninth century (A.D. 845)? The church in the West was corrupted. The church in the East was expelled. When God's people humble themselves and pray and seek his face, they will have fellowship restored and power to present the message of Christ. The failure of the gospel in China is a testimony to the poor spiritual condition of western Christians. When Christianity possibly first came to China in the first century, Buddhism came and would later take root. When Christianity came to China in the seventh century, Islam came and would later take root. When Christianity came in the nineteenth century, Communism soon came and would later take root. Buddhism, Islam, and Communism survived in China because they are false and dead belief systems. That is, when the truth is rejected lies are accepted. Christianity is supported by the living God who will not allow long perversion of his truth. God is jealous and angry. So, when his truth is rejected, lies are believed. When his people have a lackadaisical attitude, God lets the zealous leaders of other beliefs advance as instruments of judgment.

     In summary, China did have access to the West and to the gospel. The gospel may have been preached there in the first century but was not accepted. Buddhism was. Darkness came. Then in A.D. 635 Christianity definitely came but primarily to the upper classes. Two hundred years later it vanished. Darkness came. It appeared again in the thirteenth century but had little influence as a paganized version. From the thirteenth century until the eighteenth century, dates which have not been dealt with in this meditation, Catholic missionary endeavors have occurred but bore no fruit. In conclusion, based upon the modern missionary endeavor, the gospel was proclaimed but was drowned out by Western unbelief. China rejected the message. China's greatest tradition may be its hidden traditional rejection of the gospel. God judged. Darkness came again. The God of history will try again.

End Notes:

Added An Extra Endnote In March 1999  Elizabeth Wayland Barber, The Mummies Of Ürümchi (500 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, 10110: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1999)

Elizabeth Wayland Barber's book describes the mummies in the Tarim Basin of Central Asia or West China as dating back to 1,000 BCE. These mummies have caucasoid features (big noses, red and blond hair, over six feet tall) and used Celtic type cloth. Her view is a people originally from Syria first migrated to Anatolian Turkey, then Persian Iraq, and then the Tarim Basin in China in 2,000 BCE. This same people had a group migrate to Gaul, then to England as the people we know as the Celts. She provides linguistic evidence for loan words borrowed into early Chinese from Persian for words of the Bronze Age relating to "wheeled transport, magic, medicine and the like", p. 188. (This archaeologist writes only from a scientific perspective, that is, she is not interested in proving any Christian viewpoints as I am trying to do. Based on a non-evangelical historico-critical statement in her book on pages 154-155, I could assume she has no personal interest in evangelical Christianity: "Where water is scarce (as in California and the Near East), water rights give rise to physical and/or legal battles, conquests, and refugees, starting with the ancient Sumerians, whose vengeful wars over water rights lie behind the biblical story of being driven from the Garden of Eden.")

1.  Milton Meyer, China: An Introduction (Totowa, New Jersey: Littlefield, Adams and Co., 1978), p. 95.
2.  Robert C. Larson, Wansui: Insights On China Today (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1974), p. 30.
3.  Leonard Outerbridge, The Lost Churches Of China (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1952), pp. 31-31.
4.  Mary Nourse, A Short History Of The Chinese (Philadelphia: Blankiston Co., 1935), pp. 90-92.
5.  Jean-Claude Valla, author, Irene LeGuyader Weaver and F. Albert Weaver, translators, La Civilisation Des Incas (Geneva, Switzerland: Ferni Publishers, 1978), p. 42.
6.  Ibid., p. 90.
7.  Kenneth Morgan, ed., The Path Of The Buddha (New York: Ronald Press Co., 1956), p. 185.
8.  Kenneth Latourette, A Short History Of The Far East (New York: Macmillan Co., 1957), p. 108.
9.  Nourse, History p. 89.
10.  Ibid.
11.  Larson, Insights p. 30.
12.  Morgan, Buddha p. 185.
13.  Kenneth Latourette, A History Of Christian Missions In China (New York: Macmillan Co., 1929), pp. 14-15.
14.  Raymond Dawson, The Chinese Experience (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978), pp. 116-118.
15.  Latourette, Short History p. 109.
16.  Ibid., p. 124.
17.  Dawson, Experience pp. 116-133.
18.  Columba Cary-Elwes, China And The Cross (New York: P.J. Kenedy And Sons, 1957), pp. 3-6.
19.  Outerbridge, Lost Churches pp. 34-55.
20.  Deans, The China Mission (New York: Sheldon And Co., 1859), p. 71.
21.  Cary-Elwes, Cross pp. 9-13.
22.  Ibid.
23.  Ibid.
24.  Outerbridge, Lost Churches pp. 31-37.
25.  Latourette, Missions p. 48.
26.  Larson, Insights p. 71.
27.  Ibid.
28.  Cary-Elwes, Cross p. 34.
29.  Ibid., p. 23.
30.  Outerbridge, Lost Churches p. 36.
31.  Latourette, Missions p. 54.
32.  Ibid., pp. 58-60.
33.  Ibid., pp. 1723.
34.  Larson, Insights pp. 72-73.
35.  Cary-Elwes, Cross p. 2.
36.  Outerbridge, Lost Churches p. 12.

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