The Chinese government removed Bibles from online stores after announcing it is working on re-interpreting and translating the Bible so it conforms to “Chinese-style Christianity.”
VIDEO: BBC interviews one of its China correspondents on why the Chinese government has banned online sales of the Bible.
The Chinese government announced the impending “Chinese-style” reinterpretation of the Christian scriptures via an official document, “Principle for Promoting the Chinese Christianity in China for the Next Five Years (2018-2022),” released in Nanjing on March 28, according to ABC. Soon thereafter, online shoppers in China noticed Bibles were no longer available for online purchase in the country — neither digital nor print.
Bibles disappeared from the largest Chinese online marketplaces, including Taobao, Jingdong, DangDang and Chinese Amazon. Certain books on Christianity were also blocked from purchase on Taobao.
The purge of Bibles from online markets coincided with the Chinese government’s Tuesday release of a white paper titled, “China’s Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief.” The paper lists the ways religious liberties are allegedly protected in China. The government released the paper as part of an effort to prove China’s effort to establish good relations with the Vatican.
Religions in China “should adhere to the direction of localizing the religion, practice the core values of socialism, develop and expand the fine Chinese tradition and actively explore the religious thought which accords with China’s national circumstances,” the paper states.
Some speculate part of the reason for the ban of online Bible sales is China has not officially approved the Bible for circulation or given it an issuance number. Technically, the Bible is an illegal publication in China.
This article continues at [The Stream] Chinese Government Reinterpreting the Bible for the Masses