Pai Lien Chiao

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pai Lien Chiao

 

(or White Lotus Sect), a secret Buddhist sect in the northern and central regions of China. It evidently arose at the beginning of the rule of the southern Sung Dynasty (1127–1279) and lasted until the beginning of the 19th century. It took its origin from the Lien She (Lotus Society), which was founded in 402 by the monk Hoi Yuan as a small religious organization. In the second half of the 14th century it merged with other secret Buddhist sects and became a mass organization. Its members were chiefly peasants and artisans. In the second half of the 14th century, the sect took an active part in organizing an armed struggle against the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty. In following centuries, it repeatedly instigated peasant revolts (in 1406 in Hupeh, in 1418 in Shansi, in 1505 in Hehnan, in 1566 in Szechwan, in the 1620’s in Shantung under the leadership of Hsu Hung-ju, and others). The largest was the revolt of 1796–1805, when 20,000 members of the sect were executed by the Chinese-Manchu feudal lords after the suppression of the revolt.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.