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In early February 1855, a group of “local bandits” led by Qu Zhenhan occupied Yueqing city of Wenzhou prefecture for a week. According to Qing officials’ report, this incident was suppressed by the divine manifestation of Lord Yang, a popular local deity in Wenzhou. Instead of focusing on how Qing authority regained control over local society, this article takes advantage of the local materials available in Wenzhou to explore the following two questions: How does a local deity function politically in local society? What is the role of popular religion in local politics and even national politics in late Qing China? This local history study sheds light on the significance of popular religion in Chinese political culture.