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Early Christianity in China

The Church of the East was very influential in the spread of the gospel in early centuries.

In 1625, a remarkable monument was unearthed near Chang’an, China, a city about 1,500 miles inland from the coast. The monument praised God for the glorious success of the early Assyrian Apostolic Church and was erected in the year AD 781 by order of the Chinese Emperor, a ruler of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907). The stone now stands in the Pei Lin (forest of tablets) in the western suburb of Chang’an. Historical evidence reveals that New Testament Christianity shone brightly in China for some time previous to the setting up of the stone. That these early Christian missionaries possessed sufficient freedom to plant this table shows a remarkable existence of religious liberty in the Orient at this time. It also indicates that the Church of the East, as it has been called, was large and influential enough to execute so striking a project.1

In 1908, a vast collection of Christian literature was

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  1. Evariste Huc, Christianity In China, Tartary, and Thibet, Vol. 1, pp. 45, 46.

  2. P.Y. Saeki, The Nestorian Monument in China, pp. 14, 15.

  3. B.G. Wilkinson, PhD, Truth Triumphant, pp. 26, 27.