Christians want their Bibles Back from Chinese Govt

The Vision Beyond Borders is a group based in Sheridan, Wyoming that distributes bibles and Christian teaching materials around the world. The VBB web site states:
Many of the six billion people on the earth have never heard of the name of Jesus Christ. The disciples were sent out to preach the Good News of Jesus to the far reaches of the world. We believe that Vision Beyond Borders is helping to fulfill that commission with the same urgency found in first-century Christianity.

When the Vision Beyond Borders group arrive in China with boxes full of bibles they were shocked to find their bibles confiscated by Chinese customs. Seems no one told Pat Klein, and the other VBB members, that Bibles in China are printed under the strict supervision of the Communist government. Bibles in the officially atheistic country are, in fact, only allowed to be used in government-sanctioned churches, and in some big hotels catering to foreigners.

"I heard that there's freedom of religion in China, so why is there a problem for us to bring Bibles?" said Klein, during a phone interview with the associated press. He seemed stunned that his 300 bibles, which were printed in Chinese, were being held by the Chinese government, and was determined to get them released.

Klein said customs officers had told him they could each have one Bible for personal use, but no more than that. He said the officers had videotaped them and were insisting they leave the airport. "We don't want to go without taking those books. It cost us a lot of money to bring them here," Klein said. "They're saying that it's illegal to bring the Bibles in and that if we wanted to, we had to apply ahead of time for permission.”

Why Klein thought China practiced freedom of religion is unknown, since China has regularly faced criticism for repression of religious freedom. Religious practice is heavily regulated by the Communist Party, and worship is only allowed in party-controlled churches, temples and mosques, with those gathering outside approved facilities risking harassment, arrest and terms in labor camps or prison.


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