China & Bible Smuggling (Part 2 of 3) Considerations

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Now, you are probably thinking that if these two are true then why are people still smuggling bibles into China. Good question, right? This is where the bible smuggler pulls out the “Bible Card” followed by stories from the 1970’s. Okay, maybe there is more to it than that. I think there are genuine reasons that people still smuggle bibles into China, let me present what I understand:

  • Need. The Chinese “Church” (whoever that may be) are requesting bibles and are supposedly in limited supply, unwilling or unable to buy them from the government Church. Anytime we as Christians hear someone is in “need” of a bible, we will almost always do whatever it takes to get them one.
  • Availability. Not every city, town, or village has a government Church or a Christian bookstore where bibles can be purchased. A church of 10 people from a village of 150 people probably doesn’t have a local place to buy bibles. They would have to travel to the nearest major city.
  • Money. China still has many poor people, living on a dollar a day, who just don’t have the means to buy a bible. They can’t afford to stop work for a day, travel to a large city, and find a place to buy a bible. This person also most likely doesn’t have a computer, iPad, or internet in which he can freely get a copy of the bible.

So if there was a person in America who couldn’t afford a bible, didn’t have a place to buy one nearby, and was truly in need of one, I would say let’s do whatever it takes to get them a bible. We should also do the same for China. Sounds simply enough, right? Well it is not that easy.

The logical conclusion to this would be, let’s legally buy bibles in China and give it to that person. But what happens when you have the “church” or people wanting hundreds or thousand of bibles? Can you legally buy thousands or hundreds of bibles? I have never tried this so I can’t give an exact answer, but we will assume that the government most likely will frown on this. If not, distributing them, like any Christian literature would be illegal.

Now we have a problem, and the answer seems to say, “we have to smuggle bibles into China to equip the Chinese Church!”

It sounds right, but there is one more part of the equation that many leave out.

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One thought on “China & Bible Smuggling (Part 2 of 3) Considerations

  1. Eugene

    We’ve got good friends who yearly print around 1,000,000 Bibles IN China… and they can’t keep up with the demand. What the government prints simply isn’t enough, but smuggling them is too slow and not cost effective (about $30/each). Our friends print AND deliver them for about $1.80.

    That being said, we personally buy Bibles in China to give away ourselves. Buying a few dozen Bibles or NTs at a nearby large city isn’t too difficult. I do like one particular version of the NT they print in Japan and we bring in from HK… its better quality and great for giving away as gifts (and cheap!).

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