Putian people are often stereotyped by other Chinese as heroic and athletic people. Many of China's best track and field stars come from Putian. In Southeast Asia the Putian are known as the Hinghua.
The Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty (1271-1368): In 1213 the Mongols, led by Genghis Khan, broke through the Great Wall which had been designed to prevent them from entering China. The Mongols swept all opposition before them, winning more territory than any other kingdom in the history of world. Their realm stretched from Southeast Asia to Hungary in Europe. The Mongol armies were brutal, killing and plundering unmercifully wherever they went. One writer at the time recounted, "If anyone were to say that at no time since the creation of man by the great God had the world experienced anything like it, he would only be telling the truth. The Mongols ... spared none. They killed women, men and children, ripped open the bodies of the pregnant and slaughtered the unborn."
Chinese leaders have long been diligent in numbering and classifying the people of China. Although vital statistics of the population date back as far as the Xia Dynasty (2200-1700 BC), the first recorded nationwide census in China was conducted in 789 BC under the reign of Emperor Zhou Xuan.
The implementation of Communist policies resulted in a ban on all religious activity across China between 1966 and 1976. Thousands of temples, mosques, and churches were smashed to the ground, and believers were forced to practice their faith in secrecy.
The Nestorian church disappeared from China in the fourteenth century, leaving almost no trace of its existence. The heads of 70,000 Christians were piled on a heap in Xian around 1300. "This was the second disappearance of Christianity from China, and when it returned two hundred years later, the next wave of Christians seemed largely unaware that there had ever been Christians there before them." Today approximately 100,000 of the Putian Chinese are Christians - including more than 30,000 in Putian City alone, and 90,000 in the whole of Putian County.