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Religion in China

China’s ban on online Bible sales hurting own image

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 April, 2018, 4:21pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 April, 2018, 4:21pm

I read with concern your report, “Online giants pull Bible from shelves in sudden blitz” (April 5).

The apparent move to restrict distribution of the holy text shows that the central government does not possess real knowledge about Christianity, in particular the Bible, the source of spiritual strength for Christians.

The Bible says that God quenches our thirst and gives us eternal strength: “Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14).” 

The Bible has previously been banned in some authoritarian states. But, coming from China, such a move is considered unwise. As a bishop quoted in the article said: “People will always find ways to buy it, such as at state-sanctioned churches”.

As China and the Vatican make peace, will a reconciliation between official and underground churches follow?

Here, we are actually talking about human rights, which includes freedom of speech, religious rights and racial equality. In Hong Kong, there are already strong divisive forces pointing their fingers at the centralised government led by the Communist Party. 

The ban on online Bible sales has touched a nerve with Christians. In Hong Kong, the move may be used by the pan-democrats to campaign for localism. But the most obvious effect of the ban would be on China’s image as a world leader. It would slide back to being just an economic giant.

Patsy Leung, Mid-Levels