Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Banning Bibles In Beijing

This recent piece ran in the New York Sun describing the Chinese government’s attempt to ban Bibles from the Beijing Olympics:

The organizers of the 2008 Olympic Games in China have put the Bible on the list of items that athletes are banned from bringing with them to Beijing, we learn from a report in the Catholic News Service, picking up an item in the Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport. This would seem to undermine claims by a Chinese government official, Ye Xiaowen, who told Reuters last month that China would accommodate the religious needs of visiting athletes. The Chinese official claimed to Reuters that restrictions on Bibles were intended "to prevent illegal vendors from driving up prices, which are kept extremely low by government subsidies." Only a Communist would buy that economic explanation, which makes no sense.

Has anyone read 1984?

In any event, the NYS interviewed a democratic reformer from China who happened to be a Catholic. Not only did he understand the weight of what was at stake, but the NYS seemed to grasp it as well:

An editor of the Sun asked whether the same [persecution essentially] applied to those fighting for freedom in Hong Kong and China. Mr. Lee replied, "As a Catholic, I don't mind dying. I go up to heaven. I know somebody is up there, guiding me." It is the fear of sentiments like that that no doubt explains why Chinese Communist authorities would try to keep the Bible out of their country. Once it gets in, there is no telling where the ideas will spread or what will be the consequences.

Exactly. I wonder what those consequences might be…

HT: Stand To Reason


The Gyrovague said...

And yet the government wants people coming in from the west to teach english to them and to acclimate them to having a western presence. Having a western presence means having a Bible. Even athiests must admit to some degree that Christianity has shaped the west. (i.e. your previous post)

Phil Steiger said...

I read a book review recently in First Things that had to do with the Japanese culture assimilating western culture without the Christian moral/social tradition. The picture the book and the review painted was very grim.

The book's point of view was that it was devastating for a culture to try and mimic the results of Christianity (ala D'souza and Stark) without beginning with the values and worldview provided by Christ.