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The Tiandi teachings or teachings of the Heaven God (Chinese: 天帝教; pinyin: Tiāndìjiāo) are salvation sects of the Chinese traditional religion, encompassing two branches, Tiandi and Tiande (天德, "Heavenly Virtue"), emerged from the teachings of Xiao Changming and Li Yujie, disseminated in the early 20th century. Tiandi is actually a later sprout of Tiande, established in the 1980s.
These religions focus on the worship of Tiandi (天帝), the "Heavely God" or "Heavenly Emperor", on health through the proper cultivation of qi, and teach a style of qigong named Tianren qigong. According to scholars, the Tiandi teachings derive from the Taoist tradition of Huashan, where Li Yujie studied for eight years. The Tiandi Church is very active both in Taiwan and mainland China, where it has high-level links.
Tiande: Heavenly Virtue
The origins of the Tiande teaching (Chinese: 天德聖教; pinyin: Tiāndé Shèngjiāo; literally: "sacred religion of the Heavenly Virtue", also simply 天德教 Tiāndéjiāo) go back to Sichuan in 1899, with the alleged resurrection of a young boy named Xiao Changming (蕭昌明, 1896-1943) who had apparently died three days earlier. After his revival, he declared that he had received Heaven's mandate (tianming) to save humanity from suffering. He embarked on a successful religious career and attracted a large following.
In 1937 he established his headquarters on Mount Huang in southern Anhui province where he died in 1943. Like other sects, Xiao Changming's movement was suppressed in China after 1949, but survives in Taiwan and Hong Kong. In Taiwan, one of Xiao's disciples, Li Yujie, eventually decided to walk his own path and founded a new group called the Church of the Heaven God in 1978, which diverges doctrinally in several aspects from the mother group, yet also sees itself in the tradition of Xiao Changming's teachings.
Currently, there exist two regional sets of organizations for this religion. Its Hong Kong headquarters is located at Castle Peak in the New Territories. In Taiwan the religion's situation is characterized by disunity, with several separate organizations claiming to continue the original Xiao's teachings.
Tiandi: Heaven God's Church
The "Church of the Heaven God" or "Lord of Universe Church" (Chinese: 天帝教; pinyin: Tiāndìjiāo; literally: "religion of the God of Heaven") is an international religious organization based in Taiwan which is devoted to the Tiandi teachings as proclaimed by Li Yujie. It is a splinter religion from the Tiande (established in 1923). It emphasizes chanting, traditional medicine, and a form of meditation which it calls "quiet sitting" in English.
Yujie was born in China. He worked in the Kuomintang but left in 1958 to ensure political independence for his fledgling newspaper. In 1980 he claims he was given permission by God to re-release the Tiandi teachings, which emphasize nuclear disarmament and Chinese unification. His book, The Ultimate Realm, was translated into Japanese and English under his guidance.
- "An introduction to the Lord of Universe Church". eRenlai. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
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- Benoit Vermander. Christianity and the Taiwanese Religious Landscape. On: The Way, 39, 1999. London Society of Jesus. pp. 129-139
- Evelyne Micollier. Realignments in Religion and Health Practices: An Approach to the "New Religions" in Taiwanese Society. On: China Perspectives, 16, 1998. pp. 34-40
- Ju Keyi, Lu Xianlong. Tiandi jiao: The Daoist Connection. On: Journal of Daoist Studies. Vol. 7, 2014.
- Vermander, 1999.
- Micollier, 1998.
- Ju Keyi, Lu Xianlong. 2014. p. 195
- Palmer, 2011. p. 27
- The Tienti Teachings - Introduction