Liberals will likely applaud that China is enforcing a ban on Christian Bibles being sold to their 1.4 billion citizens.
The Bible appears to have been pulled from all online retailers in China this week, as Beijing continues to crack down on religious freedom.
Searches for “Bible” on Chinese marketplaces, such as Taobao and Dang Dang, Beijing’s equivalent of eBay, did not return results for the Christian text. While some sites returned results for other Christian-related publications, such as children’s story books and study guides, the full scripture could not be found.
A source at a Chinese publishing house told Inkstone that the removal of Bibles from online stores likely started at the end of March. “Some shops on Taobao [selling Christian books] have been closed permanently,” the source said.
The Bible has long been classified as material that can only be distributed by the government, but in recent years, authorities have been more relaxed in enforcing the policy.
This is a part of a crackdown on Christianity in the last few years:
Beijing’s officially atheist Communist Party has long scrutinized religion within its borders. For decades it has repeatedly stated it will not allow “foreign forces” to control citizen’s religious activities.
Since coming to power, President Xi Jinping has more severely cracked down on Christianity. Over the December period, Christmas was banned in various universities across China in an effort to protect young people from the so-called “corrosive” influence of Western culture.
Earlier this year, authorities demolished another independent church in northern China, a move that sparked fears the Communist Party was enforcing a harsh new campaign against Christianity.
Christianity was supressed for decades under the Communist regime, and although conditions for Christians have improved since the economic reforms of the 1990s, religious freedom is far from being consistently upheld in the country.
Just another reason to have more gratitude for living in a country where we can freely worship – our brothers and sisters in Christ in other countries are not nearly as fortunate.