Monday, 22 June 2009

Taiping Rebellion - Piece of history usually unknown in the West

I've been reading about the Taiping Rebellion recently. This curiosity was stirred by the recent Chinese movie "The Warlords" and a discussion with a friend about Christianity in China. Most people in the world don't know it but it's the largest civil war in the 19th century and the casualty is close to that of the Napoleonic Wars.
To summarize, it is a large scale sectarian rebellion that took place in Southern & coastal China at the end of the Qing dynasty. Number of deaths is around 25 million. The Taiping rebels managed to control Nanjing and certain major Chinese cities for quite a while and established the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. The leader, Hong Xiuquan, claimed that he was told to be the brother of Jesus through a vision.
This movement lasted about 15 years and took place simultaneously with other ethnic rebellions in Ningxia, Gansu, and Shanxi.