Gospels to be
printed specially for Beijing Olympics
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
(ANS) -- Bibles
and Gospel booklets printed in China will be available to athletes in
the Olympic village in Beijing this summer, despite rumors that Bibles
would be banned at the games.
The Gospels to be distributed during the Beijing Olympics
With the support of Bible Society based
Swindon, UK, 50,000 booklets
are being specially printed for the event, with the Gospels of Matthew,
Mark, Luke and John in Chinese and English. Ten thousand
Chinese-English complete Bibles and 30,000 Chinese-English New
Testaments will also be available.
A Bible Society news release says,
"The initiative, which follows controversy earlier this year over
whether the Chinese authorities would allow Bibles to be made available
at the Olympics, has the approval of the Beijing Olympic organizing
committee. For the first time, the committee is allowing its logo to be
used free of charge on the Gospel booklets.
decision was announced by Elder Fu Xianwei, Chairman of the National
Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant
Churches in China, at the opening of the new Amity Printing Press in
Nanjing. The new printing press, which can turn out 12 million Bibles a
year - one every second - will be printing the Scriptures to be made
available during the Olympics."
James Catford, Chief Executive of Bible
said, "We are privileged to be able to support the Church in China in
the publishing of these Bibles and Scriptures for the Beijing Olympics.
This great sporting event presents a unique opportunity to make the
life-changing message of the Bible available to thousands of athletes
and visitors from all over China - and all over the world."
The release went on to say, "An
estimated two million visitors and 16,000 athletes and officials are
expected to descend on Beijing during the games, which kick off August
"Places of worship have been set up
within the Olympic village to provide religious services to athletes.
The Church in Beijing has been asked to provide people to staff the
chapel and conduct worship services and prayers.
"The Gospel booklets will be
available in the chapel in Beijing, as well as in Qingdao, Shanghai,
Shenyang, Tianjin and Qinhuangdao, where sailing and football (soccer)
events are taking place."
To support the printing of Scriptures at
the Olympics, visit www.biblesociety.org.uk/chinaolympics
the Editor: Bible Society in China
During China's Cultural Revolution, the
was banned and all copies were confiscated. In 1985, nine years after
the Revolution ended, Bible Societies around the world became involved
in printing Bibles in China, and began to supply paper for Bible
The Amity Printing Press first opened
in 1987. Bible Societies help in the management and operation of the
press, and support the Church in China by providing paper to keep
In September 2007, the 50 millionth
Bible rolled off the presses. Of those, 42 million went to resource
China's growing Church. As well as Chinese Bibles, Amity also produces
Bibles in English and eight minority languages. The other eight million
Bibles were exported.
The new 37,000 sq m printing press -
with its £2.3 million ($4.6 million USD) worth of equipment -
May 18 2008. It can print 12 million Bibles a year - one Bible a
second, and double the previous capacity of six million Bibles.
Around 55,000 churches distribute the
Bibles coming off Amity's printing lines. There are 70 Bible
distribution centers and a fleet of 44 vans taking Bibles around
China's vast countryside.
Official estimates put China's
Christian population at 22 million. Unofficially, however, it is
thought there could be double or even four times that number. Some
estimates say up to seven per cent of the 1.3 billion population are
believers (91 million).
The British and Foreign Bible Society
as "Bible Society"), which began in 1804, is a Christian charity that
exists to make the Bible heard throughout the world. The majority of
its work is overseas, making the Bible available in a language people
can understand and at a price they can afford. In England and Wales,
the Society works to build bridges between the Bible and people's
everyday lives, as well as to rebuild confidence in its enduring
message. With the help of its supporters and churches and a network of
over 140 national Bible Societies it shares the challenge of "fighting
|Dan Wooding, 67, is an award
journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma of 44
years. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to
Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS).
He was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in
Washington, DC. Wooding is the author of some 42 books, the latest of
which is his autobiography, "From Tabloid to Truth", which is published