In the early sixth century Christianity was evolving at a rapid pace. The spread of Christianity was not only moving westward through Europe, but it was also moving eastward down the Silk Road. The eastward spread of Christianity was primarily a form of Christianity known as Nestorianism, after the teachings of Nestorius, a fifth century patriarch. By 635 Nestorian Christianity had reached the heart of China spreading through all of Persia and India. During the middle of the seventh century Nestorian churches were found in cities all along the Silk Road, though there were unquestionably many fewer Christians than Buddhists in Asia Up until the turn of the sixteenth century Christianity endured great persecution in China and Japan.
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According to the sutra in the second century AD Amitabah vowed to create his own Buddha Lands. He said that he would make them eighty-one times more outstanding than all the other lands. Amitabah who's name means endless life and light vowed that all people would be granted rebirth in these Buddha Lands or "Western Paradise". He also vowed that all people who inhabited these pure lands would have easy entry in to Nirvana. The sutra explains that salvation could be gained by calling on the name of Amitabha with absolute faith in his vow of a pure land. It is said that with absolute faith in Amitabha he would appear at the time of death to lead the faithful to paradise or the pure land. In China the beginnings of the Pure Land Buddhism can be traced back as far as the fourth century. During the fourth century a well-known scholar named Hui-yuan formed a society of monks who meditated on the name of Amitabha. Hui-yuan a former Taoist promoted this school of Buddhism and in 402 AD he founded the Fellowship pf the White Lotus from which Pure Land School was developed. During the sixth and seventh centuries T'an-luan, Tao-ch'o and
Shan-tao spread the sect of Pure Land Buddhism and are recognized as the first patriarchs of the school. Monks of the Tendai School later brought the Pure Land teaching to Japan. In 1133 AD Honen was born and at the early age of thirteen he was ordained as a Buddhist monk. Honen spent thirty year in