The Accusation and Defense of the Cult Charge against the Chinese Catholic Church on the Imaginary Basis in the Late Ming Dynasty: A Case Study of Two Nanjing Persecutions in 1616-1617 and 1622

The Chinese Catholic Church in the late Ming Dynasty was twice accused of being a "cult" in 1616 and 1622 respectively. Fortunately, Hsu Kuang-chi and Yang Ting-jun were able to defend the church in writing. Both the accusers and the defenders argued on the basis of the Confucian view of Good and Evil. Hence, it indicated that Christianity had little impact on the dominating status of Confucianism. In addition, though being labeled as a "White Lotus Sect," a cult prohibited by the government, the Jesuits in China had no substantial argument to defend themselves. This revealed that their understanding of Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism was still superficial, and that they had little knowledge of the folk religions. The foundation of Christianity in China was still shallow.