Anti-Christian Movement (China)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Anti-Christian movement)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Anti-Christian Movement (非基督教运动) was an intellectual and political movement in China in the 1920s.[1] The May Fourth Movement for a New Culture attacked religion of all sorts, including Confucianism and Buddhism as well as Christianity, rejecting all as superstition. The various movements were also inspired by modernizing attitudes deriving from both nationalist and socialist ideologies, as well as feeding on older anti-Christian sentiment that was in large part due to repeated invasions of China by western countries.[1][2][3]


The most influential publication behind the movement was an article by Zhu Zhixin (revolutionary), a colleague of Sun Yat-sen, entitled What Is Jesus?, first published in 1919 and much republished thereafter. Zhu argued that Jesus was an ordinary illegitimate peasant child who became the leader of a band of mystical enthusiasts (with bandit elements) such as were often found in Chinese history.[2] One precipitating factor was the publication in 1922 of The Christian Occupation of China, a large-scale study of China's Protestant Christian churches and China's resources. Although the publication had been intended to prepare the way for turning Chinese churches over to Chinese Christians, the title seemed to show a more sinister intent. A student movement was founded, garnering support at a number of universities, initially to oppose the planned meeting of the conference of the World Student Christian Federation in China, and more generally to counter-act the allegedly baleful influence of Christianity on China's attempts to modernize.[4]


Pamphlets, rallies and petitions were numerous from 1922 through 1927.

The killing of six Christian missionaries during the Nanjing Incident of 1927 has been attributed to the influence of the movement, but can also be attributed to more generalized xenophobia.

The movement effectively came to an end with Chiang Kai-shek's baptism in 1929 and the appointment of T. V. Soong, a Christian, as premier in 1930.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Anti-Christian Movement
  2. ^ a b Hodous, Lewis The Anti-Christian Movement in China
  3. ^ Cohen, Paul A. The Anti-Christian Tradition in China
  4. ^ Tatsuro and Sumiko Yamamoto, "The Anti-Christian Movement in China, 1922-1927", The Far Eastern Quarterly 12:2 (1953), pp. 133-147. Available on jstor Accessed 16 January 2008.