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Bibles offered in Games hotels

Updated: 2007-03-09 16:17

BEIJING - Beijing should put Bibles at big hotels where foreigners are likely to stay during the 2008 Olympic Games, a Chinese political advisor suggested Friday.

A large number of foreign athletes and tourists will swarm into Beijing for the Games, a majority of whom have religious belief, and providing Bibles at hotels will meet their religious needs, Liu Bainian, vice-president of the China Patriotic Catholic Association, told Xinhua on the sidelines of the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top political advisory body.

The service can also help clear up foreigners' misunderstandings of China in the area of religion, said Liu, a member of the CPPCC National Committee, adding the Bible is a must at hotel rooms in foreign countries, especially the European countries.

Beijing is expected to receive about 500,000 to 550,000 overseas visitors during the 29th Summer Olympiad, which is scheduled to open on August 8 and last to August 24, 2008, according to an estimate by the city's tourism bureau.

Liu suggested the authorities encourage donation of Bibles from local believers for the temporary use and return the Good Book to them after the Games.

"The China Patriotic Catholic Association can also help collect the Bible," he said.

The Chinese capital currently has over 700 star-rated hotels and the number is expected to reach 800 with 130,000 rooms before the Olympics, tourism authorities said.

Besides star-rated hotels, Beijing have more than 4,000 non- rated ones which can be upgraded to help accommodate tourists.