Call it a sign, word is out on the Bible

By LI FANGCHAO (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-06-09 08:44

China has printed more than 43 million copies of the Bible in the past three decades, and the number of Protestants in the country now exceeds 16 million, a top leader of the country's Protestant churches said.

The free expression of Christianity in China is ensured and the Bible is widely available, said Rev Cao Shengjie, president of the China Christian Council, at the "Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Church in China", which concluded in Germany yesterday.

"People in China enjoy religious freedom, I never heard anyone being persecuted for their religious belief," she said.

Rev Mei Kangjun, executive associate secretary-general of the National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China said Christianity developed very quickly under China's religious freedom policy.

As well as 16 million Protestants, there are some 55,000 places of worship and18 divinity and Bible schools.

At the end 2006, 43 million copies of the Bibles had been printed in China.

Besides a version in Chinese, the Bible has also also printed in seven different ethnic minority languages and Braille.

Some Bibles were given to Protestants in rural areas for free, he said.

Rev Yu Xinli, president of the Christian Council in Beijing, said all his time was devoted to church affairs and an increasing number of followers.

Yu gives sermons to thousands of people up to six days a week.

"We give out pamphlets at church so that everyone can see what kind of service is scheduled," he said.

"Believers and non-believers can listen to the sermons or observe the services."

The number of Protestants is fast increasing in the capital with about 5,000 being baptised annually, he said.

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours