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Testament to the arrival of Nestorian Christianity in China

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-05-25 11:07

"Stele to the Propagation in China of the Luminous Religion of the Roman Empire", known as the Jingjiao Stele, is a unique stone monument housed in the Xi’an Beilin Museum, Shaanxi province. Inscribed with both Chinese and foreign script, it commemorates Nestorianism (Jingjiao), a Christian sect introduced to China during the early Tang Dynasty (618-907), spanning nearly 150 years until its erection in 781.

The Jingjiao stele meticulously documents the missionary journey and doctrines of Jingjiao in China. The header, engraved with a cross of the Syriac Christian Church - a cross supported by a lotus, alongside the inscribed Syriac text of the stele, showcases the unique religious nature of Nestorianism as well as the integration of Chinese, Buddhist and Christian cultures.

Despite a threat from Danish journalist Frits Holm, who attempted to take the stele in 1907 and replacing it with a replica, this stele remains protected in China. One of the four great steles in the world, the Jingjiao stele represent a diversified civilization in ideology and culture. Chinese Nestorianism embodies the integration of the Syriac Christian Church with Chinese Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. The spread of Nestorianism during the Tang Dynasty in China highlights the inclusive cultural atmosphere of that historical period.

Discover more about this invaluable relic, a symbol of the coming together of civilizations and ideologies, in the video!

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