Would Kong Wang Shan's carved rocks tell of "the first religious persecution of a barbaric divine cult" in China?

Kong Wang Shan carved rocks are usually considered Buddhist or Taoist works.

10 meters high and 20 meters long, the Kong Wang Shan carved rocks date from the 1st century, during the Han dynasty. They have been considered for centuries as witnesses to the beginnings of Buddhism, even Taoism, in China, but research by scientist Shueh-Ying Liao could challenge this thesis.

During the conference "Inquiry into the history of the first centuries of the Church", the experts recalled that traces of ancient Christianity were found in India and China, regions then evangelized by the apostle Thomas. Among these traces of Christianity, experts also mention the hundred or so sculptures of Kong Wang Shan. According to Shueh-Ying Liao, "it is the oldest frieze preserved in China today", which "has no archaeological or literary equivalent" today.

This thesis was first tackled by the researcher Pierre Perrier in his book The Apostle Thomas and Prince Ying. According to him, the apostle Thomas would have been welcomed in China by Prince Ying. After the Kong Wang Shan rocks were engraved, Emperor Ming allegedly demanded the death of Prince Ying, which would make these rocks the memory of “the first religious persecution of a barbaric divine cult” in China.


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