There is a fair chance that the Bible you read in this morning was printed in China. It is a paradox for sure. No country prints as many Bibles as China, but brothers and sisters in this country are still praying and waiting for their own copy. And the need for Bible distribution and printing has got significantly bigger over the last year or so. There are six main reasons for this.
- The church still grows, and it grows faster than the number of Bibles China allows to be printed for domestic use.
- During this past year, China prohibited the sale of Bibles on-line. This affects many remote places where Bibles can’t be bought in other ways.
- China now has embarked on a project to modify the Bibles it will print, adjusting passages offencive to communism. Soon all government approved Bibles will no longer be reliable for Christians to use.
- Sharing Christian content through apps and social media is getting increasingly difficult with the government policing people’s on-line activities, targeting Christians.
- In this past year many churches throughout China have been demolished and ransacked, with policemen and government officials destroying Bibles and hymnbooks and other Christian materials. We received reports from our partners that Bibles that were distributed by BtJ were also destroyed during these raids.
- With many house churches closed and their members dispersed, many brothers and sisters can no longer depend on their leaders to read and explain the Bible during gatherings. For their spiritual nurturing, they will need to be able to read and study the Bible for themselves and maybe with a few others. It is vital that there are enough Bibles to go around.
BtJ prints and distributes hundreds of thousands of Bibles under the radar every year within China, focusing on areas that are remote and where other mission groups can’t reach. Please pray that this work will remain under the radar, so it can continue for as long as Bibles are needed for the growing Chinese church. Please pray that those who hunger for the word of God will be able to get a copy of the Bible. Please also pray for those whose Bibles have been taken in recent raids and who have lost their churches, their leaders and sometimes their freedom. May God comfort them and build his church in the face of trouble.