Chinese Manichaeism

Chinese icon of Mani depicted on a hanging scroll, 14th/15th century.

Chinese Manichaeism is the form of Manichaeism (摩尼教 Móníjiào or 明教 Míngjiào, "bright religion") transmitted and practiced in China.

Chinese Manichaeism identifies as a teaching with the purpose of awakening (佛 ), and it is a monotheism worshipping the universal God (Shangdi, Míngzūn 明尊 "Radiant Lord" or Zhēnshén 真神 "True God"). Creation is the Living Spirit (淨活風 Jìnghuófēng) of God, of whom there have been many manifestations in human form, including Mani (摩尼 Móní).[1]


Manichaeism was introduced into China in the Tang dynasty,[2] through Central Asian communities.[2] It never rose to prominence, and was officially banned and persecuted through the suppression of non-Chinese religions started by the Emperor Wuzong of Tang.

Since its introduction, Manichaeism was deeply sinicised in its style, adapting to the Chinese cultural context.[3] After the Tang, Manichaeism survived among the population and had a profound influence on the tradition of the Chinese folk religious sects integrating with the Maitreyan beliefs such as the White Lotus Sect.[4]

Other Languages
한국어: 명교
Bahasa Indonesia: Tionghoa Manikeanisme