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Church Incidents

Church incidents referred to a series of violent incidents caused by various reasons during the dissemination of Christianity in China. It could happen between Chinese and foreign missionaries and Chinese masses, or between Chinese Christians and non-Christians. Before 1900, there were many such incidents.

In old China, since the government was corrupt, powerless and ignorant, the conflict between Chinese and western cultures became more and more serious. The disseminators of Christianity felt too much resistance in China. In order to expand their effect, they took side with their respective governments in their aggression against China.

After the Opium War in 1842, Christian churches enjoyed comprehensive benefits as a result of their respective governments' privilege in China. Some missionaries abused this privilege. They set up churches without any official approval and tried to increase believers by fair means or foul. Especially, when there were lawsuits between Chinese Christians and non-Christians, the missionaries often prejudiced for the Christians by exerting pressure on the local authorities. This would sharpen the conflict and finally led to violent blood-shedding conflict. The church incidents always concluded with both missionaries and Christians harmed. All this would be causes for new conflicts and soon after there would be more church incidents.

In modern China, there were three peaks of church incidents.

The first peak was during the period from 1861 to 1870, the second from 1875 to 1889, and the third from 1890 to 1895. After the Yihetuan Movement in 1900, Christian churches began to calm down and adjusted their policies. This finally alleviated the various conflicts and since then there were few church incidents.

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