Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

sweeping concessions -- missionary travel in the interior and protection of converts -- were covered in treaties of 1858 to 1860. Henceforth religious policy was not a domestic concern to be determined unilaterally by the Chinese government, but a treaty issue with Western states acting as guarantors of religious toleration. A high point in this development was reached in the treaties following the Boxer Rebellion. Article XIV of the American treaty enlarged on previous rights and expressly secured the missionary right to acquire property. Ratifications were exchanged January 13, 1904.

XIV. The principles of the Christian religion, as professed by the Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches, are recognized as teaching men to do good and to do to others as they would have others do to them. Those who quietly profess and teach these doctrines shall not be harassed or persecuted on account of their faith. Any person, whether citizen of the United States or Chinese convert, who, according to these tenets, peaceably teaches and practises the principles of Christianity shall in no case be interfered with or molested therefor. No restrictions shall be placed on Chinese joining Christian churches. Converts and non-converts, being Chinese subjects, shall alike conform to the laws of China, and shall pay due respect to those in authority, living together in peace and amity; and the fact of being converts shall not protect them from the consequences of any offence they may have committed before or may commit after their admission into the church, or exempt them from paying legal taxes levied on Chinese subjects generally, except taxes levied and contributions for the support of religious customs and practices contrary to their faith. Missionaries shall not interfere with the exercise by the native authorities of their jurisdiction over Chinese subjects; nor shall the native authorities make any distinction between converts and non-converts, but shall administer the laws without partiality, so that both classes can live together in peace.

Missionary Societies of the United States shall be permitted to rent and to lease in perpetuity, as the property of such societies, buildings, or land in all parts of the Empire for missionary purposes and, after the title-deeds have been found in order and duly stamped by the local authorities, to erect such suitable buildings as may be required for carrying on their good work.

Source: British and Foreign State Papers (1903-1904) ( London, 1908), XCVII, 729-730.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

F. R. Dulles, China and America: The Story of Their Relations since 1784 ( Princeton, 1946), pp. 1-122.

K. S. Latourette, A History of Christian Missions in China ( New York, 1929).

V. Purcell, Boxer Uprising ( Cambridge, 1963).

P. A. Varg, Missionaries, Chinese, and Diplomats: The American Protestant Missionary Movement in China, 1890-952 ( Princeton, 1958), pp. 3-146

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