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"The Visions of Hong Xiuquan" - The Beginning of China's Taiping Rebellion

On a day in the spring of 1852, Theodore Hamberg , a Swedish protestant missionary who had come to the British colony of Hong Kong in 1847 to spread the gospel among the people of Southern China, received an unusual and in many respects mysterious guest. One of his Chinese converts from the countryside brought with him a man named Hong Rengan (洪仁玕; pinyin: Hóng Réngān), a Hakka from Hua County (now part of Huadu District, Guangzhou), who claimed that the Qing government was chasing after him. He spoke of a heavenly prophet, of Hakka Christians whose numbers were growing, who fought against the Qing and destroyed the Chinese idols, of battles and insurrections.  To Theodore Hamberg, these stories did not make much sense, but he was fascinated by the man's narrative and by how much he knew about Christianity, although he came from a region of China with no missionary activities. He asked Hong Rengan to write down his story. Hamberg expected that his guest would stay in Hong