Shocker: Guess Which Country Is the Largest Producer of Bibles
When one thinks of China, Christianity and the Bible are likely two of the furthest things that come to mind. “Communism,” “forced abortions,” one-child policy” and other terms are, more generally, what’s the nation is known for. But now, a shocking new development has come to the forefront: China, a country that makes many products consumed in the U.S. and abroad, is now also the world’s largest Bible producer.
Amity Printing Company is the only outfit in China that is permitted to produce Christian Bibles. While the Chinese government doesn’t have the most stellar record when it comes to religious freedom, Amity Printing has been fast at work, with the company’s chairman, Qiu Zhonghui, announcing that the business published its 100 millionth Bible in July.
According to a report by Christian Today, the Amity has printed 60 million Bibles, including nine ethnic minority editions in various languages. Additionally, 40 million copies were printed in more than 90 languages and sent to about 70 nations and regions across the globe. The outlet goes on to describe the Christian population in China and the expansion that has led to the nation’s new designation as top Bible producer:
China has more than 16 million Christians today, the Xinhuanet report states, as well as 1,800 seminarians in 18 Bible schools. It also has 55,000 churches and gathering venues, 100,000 church volunteers and 36,000 missionaries.
But some believe the number of Christians in China is actually much higher than the country’s government has said due to the large number of Christians who worship separately from churches run by the government. An article that appeared in the May 2011 issue of First Things magazine, and was written by social sciences professors, combines a number of different surveys to suggest that there may have been about 70 million Christians living in China in 2011.
In 2010, the UK-based Bible Society reported that the growth of the church in China was too rapid for the Bible publisher to keep up with. Christians living in rural areas, or those who don’t belong to CCC/TSPM churches, are often forced to live their faith without the book.
Considering that the printing venture, a joint effort on the part of United Bible Societies and the Amity Foundation, started in 1988, this accomplishment is fascinating.
Christianity Today (different from “Christian Today”) notes that the Chinese government is welcoming this development, with spokesperson Guo Wei recently claiming that officials both respect and protect religious freedom. Wei also went on to say that the government “will continue to support printing and publishing Bibles in China.”
The irony here is that Christian missionaries regularly smuggle Bibles into the nation — an act that some experts claim is dangerous for both the individuals doing it and for locals. Considering author David Aikman’s claim in an interview with Christianity Today that heavy government restrictions have been placed on Bibles (they are only available at government-registered church bookstores), it’s understandable why some have tried to work around the system.
Experts like Christina Graham, director of operations for East Gates International, a group that works to help with Bible distribution locally in China, say that working legally through the system is more effective. There are 70 sales outlets through which the Amity Bibles are available in the country — outlets that Graham helps coordinate.
“We’ve found that working legally in China is far more effective in the long run,” Graham told Christianity Today. “We’ve developed incredible relationships with both governmental officials and house-church believers because we choose to respect the religious policies in their country.”
Amity Printing is based in Nanjing, China.
- Shock Video Surfaces: Meat Cleaver-Wielding Man Shouts ‘You People Will Never Be Safe!’ Moments After Gruesome London Attack 497 Comments
- Why Were DHS Agents Seemingly Monitoring Multiple Tea Party IRS Protests Across the Country on Tuesday? 479 Comments
- Confusion Erupts in IRS Hearing After Lois Lerner Tries to Plead the 5th — Watch It All Unfold 467 Comments
- The Tense Exchange Between Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Former IRS Head You’ve Been Waiting for…and It Doesn’t Disappoint 383 Comments
- Anti-Gay Bias or Fair Punishment? New Details Emerge About High School Student’s Lesbian Relationship With a Minor 320 Comments
- ‘I Swear I Will Kill You…F**k You’: Conservative Comedian Gets Death Threats Following Anti-Muhammad Video Read More
- ‘We…Aren’t Going to Take S**t From Homophobes’: Mysterious Pro-Firearm Ads Use Gays, Seemingly Topless Lesbians to Rail Against Gun Control 185 Comments
- Pope Francis’ Sermon Sparks Debate: ‘Even the Atheists’ Have Been Redeemed ‘With the Blood of Christ’ 315 Comments
- Beck Issues Challenge to People of Faith in Wake of Okla. Tornado: ‘What Have You Done?’ Read More
- ‘Islamic Jihad, Islamic Jihad!: Michelle Malkin Rips Progressives, Clashes With Lib Radio Host Over Islamic Terrorism and the London Machete Attack 126 Comments
- Trey Gowdy at It Again — This Time with a Jack Bauer Reference! Read More
- Emails Released: Congress Was Asking for Updates on IG’s IRS Audit Before 2012 Election Read More
- Weekly Unemployment Benefits Tumble Read More
- Why Is This German Company Recruiting Tech Staff With Autism? Read More
- House Votes to Speed up Keystone Pipeline: Here’s Everyone Who Voted for and Against It Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ 121 Comments
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- Senator: Assaults let military culture continue
- WHO: Scientific red tape mars efforts vs. virus
- Obama lifts ban on Guantanamo transfers to Yemen
- Wyden: FracFocus a 'constructive' tool on drilling
- Heat, Pacers say Game 2 should be even better
- Tea party storm largely inside IRS _ so far
- Kids, teachers from devastated school reunite
- Coded goal: RG3 still aiming for Redskins' opener