East Bay RCC Church - Prayer for China (3 Locations)

East Bay RCC Church - Prayer for China (3 Locations)

Location #1:  Border Area of China with North Korea and Russia - Although the history of the current structure has been rather short, the new building does reflect the current growth of the Christian Community within Yanji City. With already a fairly long history, current city citizens are finding renewed faith and many others are swelling their ranks, for the first time being able to practice this religion.

The city Church of Yanji is part of the legal Christian Church in China, that is: it is not Roman Catholic, Protestant or any other denomination but is an officially recognized holy shrine, supervised by the Chinese Government ponsored National Christian Church.

Other chruches in Yanji go unrecognized and many Church groups go without an official prayer room or hall, and are considered part of the illegal or underground Church.

Location #2:  The first Christians documented to have reached Tibet were the Nestorians, of whom various remains and inscriptions have been found in Tibet. They were also present at the imperial camp of Möngke Khan at Shira Ordo, where they debated in 1256 with Karma Pakshi (1204/6-83), head of the Karma Kagyu order. Desideri, who reached Lhasa in 1716, encountered Armenian and Russian merchants. 

Roman Catholic Jesuits and Capuchins arrived from Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. Portuguese missionaries Jesuit Father Antonio de Andrade and Brother Manuel Marques first reached the kingdom of Gelu in western Tibet in 1624 and was welcomed by the royal family who allowed them to build a church later on. By 1627, there were about a hundred local converts in the Guge kingdom. Later on, Christianity was introduced to Rudok, Ladakh and Tsang and was welcomed by the ruler of the Tsang kingdom, where Andrade and his fellows established a Jesuit outpost at Shigatse in 1626. 

In 1661 another Jesuit, Johann Grueber, crossed Tibet from Sining to Lhasa (where he spent a month), before heading on to Nepal. He was followed by others who actually built a church in Lhasa. These included the Jesuit Father Ippolito Desideri, 1716–1721, who gained a deep knowledge of Tibetan culture, language and Buddhism, and various Capuchins in 1707–1711, 1716–1733 and 1741–1745, Christianity was used by some Tibetan monarchs and their courts and the Karmapa sect lamas to counterbalance the influence of the Gelugpa sect in the 17th century until in 1745 when all the missionaries were expelled at the lama's insistence. 

In 1877, the Protestant James Cameron from the China Inland Mission walked from Chongqing to Batang in Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, and "brought the Gospel to the Tibetan people." Beginning in the 20th century, in Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan, a large number of Lisu people and some Yi and Nu people converted to Christianity. Famous earlier missionaries include James O. Fraser, Alfred James Broomhall and Isobel Kuhn of the China Inland Mission, among others who were active in this area.

Location #3 :  Daqin Christian Pagoda in Zhouzhi Xian China - Daqin Pagoda is the remnant of the oldest surviving Christian church in China. Located about 2 km to the West of Lou Guan Tai temple, this pagoda can be found in Chang-an, Shaanxi Province. The church and monastery were built by early Nestorian missionaries in 640. Daqin is the name of the Roman Empire in the Chinese language documents of the 1st – 2nd centuries. 

Capital of modern Shaanxi, Xi’an has served as capital to 11 dynasties over a period of 4,000 years, including the Western Zhou, Western Han, Qin, Western Wei, Northern Zhou, Sui, and Tang. The Chinese trace its lineage  back even further to the mythical Yellow Emperor, who made Xiangyang his capital (2200-1700 BC). Xi’an peaked during the Tang dynasty, when its position at the eastern end of the Silk Road transformed it into a bustling metropolis, luring foreign merchants and faiths, including Christians, Muslims, Zoroastrians, Manicheans, and Buddhists.  

The Daqin Christian stone tablet may be of more interest to western eyes. The stone tablet is topped with a cross and was carved in 781 to commemorate the arrival of Nestorian Christianity in Xi’an. The characters at the top of it refer to Rome (or Daqin) and  Christianity, the “Revered Religion”. The first Nestorians Christians arrived in Xi’an in AD 635. They thrieved in the city for two centuries. 

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