Drawing of Street Preaching in China - 1870

Christian tenets posed a direct threat to Chinese elite culture. Missionaries classified many Chinese customs as idolatrous, and forbade their converts from practicing any of the Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian rituals that for centuries had been an integral part of family, community, and government life in China.

Particularly problematic was the Christian ban on "ancestor worship," religious rituals directed at the spirits of deceased family members. It was only after nine years of arduous effort that the Methodists baptized their first convert in Fuzhou.
Street Preaching in China - 1870
Unidentified missionary in Fuzhou, ca. 1870