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Late Qing Scene

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Chapter Summary

With some notable exceptions, the Christian endeavour had reached a low point in China at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Two innovative theological currents had a decisive influence on the formation of the China Inland Mission and a host of other new missionary bodies during the last three decades or so of the nineteenth century, namely the Holiness movement and the ascendancy of pre-millennialism. By the end of the eighteenth century, after nearly a century of sporadic persecutions, Chinese converts had increasingly retreated to remote rural settlements where they rarely - if ever - saw one of the few Chinese and even fewer foreign priests who still managed to clandestinely travel around the vast empire at this time. The distribution of Catholics in 1845 provides a rough indication that converts had been able to retain tenuous footholds in some provinces and regions in larger numbers than in other parts of the Qing Empire.

Keywords: Catholic jurisdictions; Catholics; Qing China; Western Christianity



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