Despite relentless persecution, the Christian community in China is thriving. Totaling around 100 million believers, and with hundreds of thousands being baptized annually, many experts predict that China will become the world’s most Christian nation by 2030.
The staggering explosion of faith is, in part, down to the mass printing of Bibles. Indeed, China’s Amity Printing Company just announced that it recently produced its 200 millionth bible.
The firm’s rate of production has increased exponentially. In 2012, they reached 100 million after some 25 years years of printing. Just seven years later, and they had doubled that figure.
“Out of the 200 million Bibles printed, more than 85 million copies were printed and distributed for the churches in China, including Braille Bibles and Bibles in 11 ethnic minority languages,” said Qiu Zhonghui, Board Chairman of Amity Foundation, according to Eternity News.
“Since 2003, APC began to grow their Bible printing for overseas distribution and to date, it has printed 115 million copies of Bible for more than 140 countries and territories.”
Church leaders gathered together with staff from the United Bible Societies (UBS) on November 11 to celebrate the remarkable milestone. Chinese government officials were also reported to have attended the event, despite the CCP’s brutal oppression of believers across the country.
It is important to note that ACP distributes its Bibles though the official, state-mandated “Three-Self” network of churches. This may explain why Chinese officials were in attendance.
Alberto Rossa, a Claretian missionary, posted video from inside the formal event. In one still image, Rossa can be seen standing in front of the main stage. Behind him, emblazoned across the wall, a line of text can be clearly seen.
“Chinese Bible and Christian Sinicization Workshop,” it reads.
This, in itself, is a clear indication that this was very much a state-mandated event. “Christian sinicization” refers to the Chinese government’s campaign to de-westernize Christianity and, in essence, to ensure its influence does not jeopardize the ultimate power and authority of President Xi Jinping.
Many heralded the event as a roaring success. Melissa Lipsett, COO of Bible Society Australia, described the occasion to Eternity News as “a wonderful celebration of the partnership between Amity Foundation, the church in China, and the church around the world.”
“This incredible milestone represents the Bible being placed into the hands and hearts of millions of Chinese Christians,” she added. “A remarkable ‘Only God’ feat!””
Christians across China have been subject to brutal oppression in recent months, with mass arrests the forced demolition of churches becoming the norm.
As Faithwire reported last week, Chinese government officials recently began interrogating believers for purchasing faith-based books online.
Reports indicate that Christians are being invited to “tea sessions,” a colloquial term for police interrogations, after attempting to purchase Christian books through the instant messaging app “WeChat” and an associated online shop called the “Wheat Bookstore.”