Saturday, December 13, 2014

Xishiku or Church of the Savior

I often get asked if there are churches in China. The answer is an unequivocal - yes, although the relationship has been pretty rocky over the centuries.

Catholic missionaries came to China in the 13th century while the Protestants arrived in 1807.

The picture above is of the Church of the Savior in Beijing. The church was originally built next door to the Forbidden City in 1703. It was moved to it's current location in 1887 after the emperor asked that in be moved so that he could build Zhongnanhai park.

During the Boxer Uprising in 1900, approximately 3900 Christians, including about 100 Europeans, sought refuge on the grounds for 2 months. About 400 died from gunfire, bombs, disease and starvation during this time.

The interior seems to pretty standard for Catholic churches - just with Chinese characteristics.

Here are the side windows. The organ was in the back.

Click to enlarge.

You can learn more here --> Xishiku on Wikipedia

This is the Gangwashi Church about 2 blocks away from the Catholic Church. It was founded in the 1860s but was destroyed in the Boxer Uprising. It was rebuilt in 1903. It has hosted a number of notable foreign worshipers including George W. Bush.

A service was in progress when we arrived. They were singing "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" but they were singing in Korean so we didn't go in.

Click here to learn more about Protestants in China over the last 2 centuries ---> Protestantism in China

This is the Wansong Laoren Tower just down the street from the church. It is a Buddhist monument.

As we were wandering around looking for the sites in this neighborhood we stumbled onto this shop.

This house number 84 was once the home of Lu Xun. One of the great Chinese writers of the early 20th century.

This is a bicycle/tricycle repair shop set up in the alley. Looks like there are set up for slightly heavier repairs than just flat tires.

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