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Yelikewen Religion

Yelikewen was what the Mongolian rulers of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) called Christianity. Since Nestorianism suffered the destructive blow in China, there were only some Christians in China's northwestern frontier. In some Mongolian tribes, there were quite a few people who believed in Nestorianism.

With their strong military force, the Mongolians created an empire covering most of Eurasia. They conquered many peoples and as a result some peoples who believed in Nestorianism migrated to Chinese inland areas. At the same time, Roman Catholicism was introduced into China from Europe. In 1294, Giovanni da Montecorvino, a Franciscan of Roman Catholicism got to the capital of the Yuan Dynasty, which is today's Beijing, and set up a church there.

Yelikewen included both Nestorianism and Catholicism. According to certain historical documents, there were 30,000 Christians in China at that time. The central government set up an institution called Chongfu Temple in charge of Yelikewen. Christians in the Yuan Dynasty were mainly from some non-Han nationalities in northwestern China. When the Yuan Dynasty was thrown off by the uprising of the Han people in 1368, the Christians had to flee back to some remote regions or return to their motherlands, because the new emperor did not like the religion. Christianity disappeared in China again. The situation lasted more than 200 years till 1582.

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