The Catholic Church had once successfully established itself in China under the adaptation policy promulgated by Jesuit missionaries led by Matteo Ricci during the Ming-Qing Transition period. In the early 18th century，the sympathetic attitude of the Chinese rulers towards Christianity, however, turned to hostile sentiments, such as in the “Rites Controversy” when the church forbade Chinese believers to practice ancestral rituals. This led to the prohibition of Christianity in China, and only after the defeat of the Opium War in the 1840s did the Qing emperors partially reopen China to the Christian Faith. Utilizing recently published documents related to the ministry of Punishment of the Qing dynasty, this paper explores the suppressing legal apparatus against Chinese Christians, such as the ritual of striding across the cross for apostates, the punishment of life banishment in the borderlands, as well as the brutal penalty of locking in the Cangue without a time limit. Through illuminating examples of Chinese believers withholding their faith, taken from authentic judicial cases and the internal communications of judicial officials, their religious sacrifices and the neglected roles of Chinese Christians in one of the worst periods of Christianity in China are acknowledged and reexamined.
|Translated title of the contribution||Locking in Cangue Forever: The Struggles of Chinese Catholics under the Prohibition of Christianity in the Light of Documents Related to the Ministry of Punishment of the Qing Period|
|Original language||Chinese (Traditional)|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 2015|