Christian China

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Dominic Harvey, May 14, 2019.

  1. Dominic Harvey Active Member

    Feb 5, 2019
    What if Kublai Khan converted to christianity along with his realm when Marco Polo was there? I heard that Kublai Khan was interested in Christianity so what if he converted.
  2. mrmandias Regent

    Nov 29, 2006
    The Great Empty
    He'd have to make it stick, so presumably that means he brings his court and ruling class along with them, and they stay in power long enough for enough of the country generally to convert. OTL the Yuan only lasted around a 100 years from your POD. For your POD to lead to a Christian China, I think you need the Yuan to be in power longer.
    Remitonov, Dan1988, Kaze and 2 others like this.
  3. Braden Anderson Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2017
    Republic of Texas
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Taiping Rebellion the closest OTL ever came to having this? Why not make that the POD?
    ArchimedesCircle likes this.
  4. Samsara123 Well-Known Member

    Apr 5, 2017
    Hmmmm....... how about during the Tsuhima landings one of the sparse Christian Mongol soldiers receives a vision from god warning him of the oncoming Kamikaze
  5. Xianfeng Emperor Amateur Iran-o-phile

    Given how unpopular the Yuan already were, I feel like Christianity would only be another reason for violent rebellions like the Red Turbans.
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  6. BellaGerant Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2017
    Christianity gets purged when the Mongols get driven out of China. Tying Christianity to the hated Mongol yoke is the quickest way to get the faith extinguished in China.

    If anything, more adventures concerning Japan are just going to hasten the end of the Yuan. The Mongols can't realistically hold onto Japan for long and the costs of subjugating the archipelago far exceeds any short-term benefits. Meanwhile, the Yuan are wasting men and money on SE Asian campaigns. Those, along with the failed expeditions to Japan, crippled the Yuan economically and helped the Mongols topple themselves.
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  7. ArchimedesCircle Radical Groucho-Marxist

    Aug 25, 2015
    Tecumseh's Confederacy
    Yeah, I'd say that the Taiping is a much more likely scenario than the Yuan going Christian and making it stick. It would be a very, very strange Christianity though, and in a world where the God Worshipping Society is victorious they might not be characterized as Christian by either themselves or the more 'traditional' Christian sects.
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  8. RousseauX Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2011
    A Taiping China which survives might be Christian: but it would be completely different Christianity than any pre-existing branch of Christianity which exists
  9. Kaze Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2017
    It is not far from the truth - I would put the POD further back then Marco's conversion. I would put the POD under Toghrul - Genghis married his son Tolui to one of Toghrul's nieces, the Nestorian Christian Sorghaghtani Bekhi. Tolui and Sorghaghtani Bekhi became the parents of Möngke Khan and Kublai Khan. If Tolui would convert to Nestorianism and teach his son the same - well there you go...

    If anything under the Yuan - a lot of ministers, eunuchs, and social climbers would latch on to the new religion. But I suspect unless inroads were made, it is likely Christianity would become "just another buddhist cult that had imperial favor for a time."

    As for the Taipings --- do not get me started. I could go into detail of the religion and how Hong failed. In military matters, Hong was inspired by Romance of the Three Kingdoms (sānguó yǎnyì), the Water Margin or Outlaws of the Marsh (simplified Chinese: 水浒传; traditional Chinese: 水滸傳; pinyin: Shuǐhǔ Zhuàn), and Fengshen Yanyi or The Investiture of the Gods(simplified Chinese: 封神演义; traditional Chinese: 封神演義; pinyin: fēngshén yǎnyì) however, he did not learn much from these books forgetting military strategy and to watch one’s underlings. He failed to deal with Zeng Guofan (simplified Chinese: 曾国藩; traditional Chinese: 曾國藩; Pinyin: Zēng Guófān, Wade-Giles: Tseng Kuo-fan, (November 21, 1811 – March 12, 1872), founder of the Xiang Army (Chinese: 湘軍; pinyin: Xiāng Jūn) and father of future warlordism in China. In comparison in military matters, Hong was a high school dropout and Zeng Guofan was a Harvard professor.

    I suspect that Hong's nation would be much like ISIS / ISIL / Al-Qaeda state. There would be a lot of buildings, statues, and books destroyed.
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  10. Dan1988 Vamos abrir a porta da esperança!

    Feb 23, 2007
    ATL Royaume du Canada
    Not only that, but Christianity already existed as part of the Baghdad-based Church of the East. That would be a much better bet for a Christian China than introducing Latin Christianity via Marco Polo.
  11. varyar Who?

    Dec 14, 2007
    /obligatory "Jesuits win the Chinese Rites controversy" - that obviously doesn't get you a completely Christian China, but it certainly helps.