This group's history starts in the Chinese province of Szechwan in 1899 with the resurrection of a young boy named Hsiao Ch'ang-ming (c. 1896-1943) who had apparently died three days earlier. After his revival, he declared that he had received Heaven's mandate to save humanity from suffering. He embarked on a successful religious career and attracted a large following. In 1937 he established his headquarters on Mt. Huang in southern Anhwei province where he died in 1943. Like other sects treated here, Hsiao Ch'ang-ming's movement was suppressed in the People's Republic of China after 1949, but survives in Taiwan and Hong Kong. In Taiwan, one of Hsiao's disciples, Li Yu-chieh, eventually decided to walk his own path and founded a new group called "The Celestial Emperor Religion" (T'ien-ti Chiao) in 1978, which diverges doctrinally in several aspects from the mother group, yet also sees itself in the tradition of Hsiao Chang-ming's teachings.
Currently, there exist two regional sets of organizations for this religion. Its Hong Kong headquarters is located at Castle Peak in the New Territories. In Taiwan the religion's situation is characterized by disunity, with several separate organizations claiming to continue Hsiao Ch'ang-ming's teachings.