Last month, we were able to meet with our partners in China to better understand the situation for Bibles.
Ministry reports have been drastically different between 2019-2023, because of two primary reasons:
- Draconian lockdowns following China’s ‘zero-tolerance’ method of dealing with Covid-19
- The increase of Christian persecution in China starting in 2019
Due to these two reasons, obtaining clear reports for the needs inside of China as we have been doing for the last 20 years has been more challenging. However, that seems to be changing this year.
China has opened up again to the rest of the world and dropped their Covid-19 restrictions.
After meeting with the leaders in China this year, the message is crystal clear: CHINA NEEDS BIBLES!
The cry for more Bibles was unmistakable. This desperation was born out of China’s historic crackdowns on Christianity, but the number one problem with Bibles is not printing, distribution, funding or getting reports. Those things are greatly inhibited at the moment; the number one problem with illegally printing Bibles in China is banking.
Today, the only way to get money into China for Bible printing is through clandestine methods. The way the clandestine system works can be best understood in 5 simple steps:
First: Bible funding is sent to a business on the field
Second: Funding transferred through business into hands of Bible Project Manager in China
Third: Project manager meets with House Church Network leadership to distribute Bible Printing Funds
Fourth: House Church Network Leadership work with each respective (and different) underground printer
Fifth: House Church Network Leadership allocates distribution points according to needs in house church network
Though the process is understood, the number of meetings and the number of people involved is not known. Everyone involved in this process from step 3 to step 5 are secret volunteers who attempt to leave as little of a footprint as is possible.
This year, 2023 will be special. China has just opened up for the first time in three years and it is once again possible to meet face-to-face with network leaders. This means that it will be possible to again meet with our partners and get more detailed distribution reports of Bibles, which are desperately needed.
Our goal for 2023 is to print and distribute 200,000 bibles, which is a drop in the bucket of the real need on the ground.