Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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(3,198 words)

The origins of Christianity in China seem to go back to the first centuries CE, but it is very difficult to establish an exact date or even a period, since much depends on the interpretation of the relatively few sources (literary, archaeological, iconographic) at our disposal. A rather safe indication seems to be offered by Arnobius of Sicca, who around 300 CE states that the Christian message had been preached in China by that time, which points to the presence of at least some seeds of Christianity in China …

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Ramelli, Ilaria L.E., “China”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 03 October 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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