In China, one of the oldest native faiths is Taoism. It was formed and inspired by the ideas of the 6th-century BCE Chinese philosopher Lao Tse. His teachings, called Tao Te Ching, centre on the idea that to function properly as physical and spiritual beings, you must harmonise with nature and avoid behaviour that disturbs the natural order of the universe, simply unity.
The biggest faith in China today is not actually from China. Buddhism was brought to China by Indian monks travelling along the trade routes such as the Silk Road in the 6th century CE. It settled in the North and then spread to the South, where it found a wide reception.
Taoism and Buddhism in Manchester
Knowledge and understanding of Chinese Buddhism and Taoism in the UK have roots in the early missionaries of the West, such as the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci (1552-
In Manchester, the history of Buddhism and Taoism is much more recent. Immigrants bring their faiths with them, and it is not uncommon to see shrines set up in the houses and businesses of the Chinese in Manchester. One of the longest-established groups is that of Manchester University’s Buddhist Society, established in 1971, which has always been open to anyone interested in or actively practising Buddhism.
One of the oldest worship centres was the Tian Guan Temple. It was the first Taoist-
An older organisation but newer addition to Manchester is the Fo Guang Shen Buddhist Temple, one of many temples under the Fo Guang Shen Buddhist Order founded by Master Hsing Yun. In August of 1993, the Fo Guang Shen Buddhist Propagation Centre was established on Faulker Street in Chinatown. Still, a larger, the more fitting location was needed due to the rapidly growing number of members. After initially moving into the Ching Yee Building on Portland Street, it relocated to Trafford Park in 1996 under the name of Manchester Fo Guang Shan.
Taoism and Buddhism in Manchester
Christianity has been known in China for as long as Chinese Buddhism has been known in the West. Jesuit missionaries, namely Matteo Ricci (1552-
During trade with China in the 18th and 19th centuries, many missionaries converted thousands of mainland Chinese, with the South and Hong Kong remaining mainly Buddhist and Taoist. Missions stilled during the early years of the 20th century due to the Boxer Rebellion, which targeted and resulted in the death of many Christians and foreigners in China. Under Communist rule, the open practice of all religions was banned, and many faiths, including Christianity, fled to the West. One of the reasons that Christianity was not brought by the immigrants who came to Manchester was that many of the initial immigrants were from Hong Kong. The missionaries came with trade ships to the mainland ports such as Shanghai. Whilst many Chinese converts had visited England in the early part of the 20th century, such as Watchman Nee (1903-
However, Western missionary work within Manchester had a long history by this time, with famous figures such as the Reverend F. S. Collier working on teaching English to the Chinese immigrants working in laundries from 1912.
There are many Christian organisations with Chinese affiliations or origins in Manchester. One of the oldest is the Manchester Chinese Christian Church. One of the main founders was Rudolf Alfred Bosshardt (1897-
On returning home to Manchester in 1966, Bosshardt founded the Manchester Chinese Christian Church in Whalley Range which now boasts a membership of more than 250. The MCCC is a non-
Another large Chinese Christian group is The Manchester Alliance Mandarin Fellowship, established in 1994, which aims to teach language and faith to Mandarin speakers in Manchester.
曼城现存两座佛教寺庙，第一座是 1993年兴建的佛光山(台湾星云大师)，它最初是在曼城唐人街，之后迁址到Old Trafford。另一座是在Openhsaw的真善堂（台湾真佛佛学会）。现在曼城的中国本土宗教道教则是由陈法达大师发扬光大。
曼彻斯特华人基督教史已超过100年。从1912年起，The Wesleyan Reverend S. F. Collier牧师就在Oldham大街的传教中心给100多位中国洗衣店的员工教授英文。
之后，另一位曼城传教士R. A. Bosshardt在中国大力传教，1951年被驱逐出境。1966年回到曼城， 后来成了曼彻斯特华人基督教会的创始人之一，该教会直至今天依然不断壮大。