Bibles from China
I never got round to posting about the Momentum conference as I had promised. I still might do. But for now all I will say was that one of the highlights was to hear Brother Andrew, of God's Smuggler fame. He was talking mainly about his more recent work in various Middle Eastern countries. This is also described in his more recent book Light Force, which I am currently reading. Brother Andrew also reminded us that Jesus told us to "Go and make disciples...", but didn't say anything about coming back!
Today I happened to read, in the latest issue of the Evangelical Alliance's idea magazine, that Brother Andrew's organisation Open Doors is marking 25 years since "Project Pearl", in which it successfully smuggled a million Bibles into China. Sadly, 25 years on there is still a severe shortage of Bibles in China.
In the light of this, I found it rather ironic that Bibles in the Momentum conference bookshop were being unpacked from boxes labelled "Printed in China". It was not just one version or edition, but a wide variety as far as I could tell, which came in boxes so marked. It seems that the People's Republic is quite happy to make money by printing cheap Bibles for export to the West, but does not allow them to be printed or imported in adequate numbers for its own people.
As Christians, should we buy Bibles which are printed in a country which does not allow its own people access to Bibles? Should we support the Chinese economy in this way? Maybe that is worth thinking about.
At least the Bible which I bought there, a small format TNIV reduced from £18.99 to £8.99, was "Printed in Great Britain", although that is not why I chose it.