Tian Dao Hui 天道會

The 17th patriarch 
Lu Zhongyi (1849-1925)


The 18th patriarch 
Zhang Tianran (1889-1947)


Also called Yi Guan Dao 一貫道 , I-Kuan Tao, which usually is translated as Unity Sect it is a new religion that has its roots in earlier religions as it incorporates elements from Confucianism, Chinese Buddhism and Daoism. At the same time it recognizes the validity of non-chinese religious traditions such as Christianity and Islam as well. For this reason it has often been classified as a syncretistic or syncretic sect along with other similar religions in the Xian Tian Dao (Way of Former Heaven 先天道). Yi Guan Dao say they are a moralistic society, with objective to save all human from the last calamity. 

Xian Tian Dao (Way of Former Heaven 先天道) can be traced back to the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). It is usually referred to as White Lotus or 'Motherist' or 'Maternist sectarianism'. The term White Lotus religion ( 白蓮教 Bai Lian Jiao) has a negative meaning in Taiwan and is associated with secret, illegal, rebellious sects. The founder of Xian Tian Dao is Huang Dehui 黃德輝 (1624-1690). Both Tian Dao Hui and Xian Tian Dao considered him the 9th patriarch. Some of the teachings are derived from Luo Sect 羅教 with founder Luo Qing 羅清 (1442-1527).

Bai Lian Jiao (White Lotus religion 白蓮教 ) began at the start of the Mongol rule, Yuan dynasti, prompted small, yet popular demonstrations against foreign rule. The White Lotus Society took part in some of these protests as they grew into wide-spread dissent. The Mongols considered the White Lotus society a sect and banned it, forcing its members to go underground. Now a secret society, the White Lotus became an instrument of quasi-national resistance and religious organization. The first rebellion took place in around Guangzhou in 1352 led by Zhu Yuanzhang a Buddhist monk and gathered soon followers all over China. The army led by Zhu Yuanzhang captured Nanjing in 1356 and continued north and in 1368 they entered Beijing the former Mongol capital. In 1371 they were moving into Sichuan and by 1387 after 30 years of war he had liberated all of China.

Bai Lian Jiao again started a rebellion led by White Lotus sect leader in 1770s Wang Lun (d. 1774-11-01), master of martial arts and herbal medicin,  in late 18th century against the Qing rulers. The protest started as a protest against the taxes. The White Lotus led impoverished settlers into rebellion, promising personal salvation in return for their loyalty. The rebellion grew in number and power and eventually, into a serious concern for the government. The rebellion came to an end in 1804.

It is said in some documents that they consider the Yi Guan Dao to be a continuation of the Yi He Tuan 義和團 (the righteous group, leaders of the Boxer Rebellion)  which itself has its roots in Qi Jiao 齋教 coming from  White Lotus sect 白蓮教.