Manicheaism, founded in the third century in Persia, had been transmitted to Xinjiang in western China and to the Tang Dynasty's capital of Chang'an by the seventh or eighth century. It became known as the Religion of Light (Mingjiao), and gradually assimilated to buddhism. In the Song and Yuan Dynasties, Quanzhou was one of the most important bases of Manichaean activities in China. This surviving sculptury of Mani in the Cao'an Temple is a world cultural treasure. Surrounded by curling incense smoke, local worshippers have come to see it as an image of the Buddha.