05 Apr China Pulls Out Sales Of Bibles From Bookstores
Christians in China are Outraged as the Chinese government has reportedly banned the sale of Bibles at online bookstores across the country to comply with a “white paper” that is dictating compliance with the “core values of socialism.”
Following the release of the “China’s Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief” document, copies of the Gospels have been reported to be disappearing from online retailers.
The white paper in question declares that Chinese faith communities “should adhere to the direction of localizing the religion, practice the core values of socialism, develop and expand the fine Chinese tradition and actively explore the religious thought which accords with China’s national circumstances.”
The document also states that the next five years will see an effort to build up Chinese Christianity and the Chinese theology to “consciously develop Bible study talents to lay a solid foundation for reinterpreting and re-translating the Bible or writing the reference books.”
This move has left Chinese Christians speaking out in “confusion and outrage” online.
Warren Wang, a Christian who immigrated to Australia from Shanghai in 2012, said that believers could sense such a move was coming.
“I’m not that surprised that they’re taking the Bible off the shelves now,” Wang said.
“This is a lot like something China would do — the Communist Party teaches atheism and since Xi Jinping is becoming increasingly powerful — this is expected,” he added, referring to the Chinese president.
A Catholic news source reports that there has been a long-standing rule preventing Bibles in China from being sold over the internet, but the directive had been allowed to slide for years.
“It can only be sold in churches that the government permits — it looks like the government has started to take the matter seriously,” noted an anonymous observer.