The Situation in China
In 1900, during the Boxer Uprising, over 230 western missionaries and 32,000 Chinese Christians were killed. This is considered the largest such martyrdom in missions history. After Chairman Mao Zedong declared the People’s Republic of China in 1949, many sought to “purge” society of anything that would point to religion—especially the “foreign religion” of Christianity. This caused China’s people to endure great hardship ever since. Mao’s Great Leap Forward in the late ’50s and the Cultural Revolution in the ’60s and ’70s left millions of China’s people dead or victimized.
Even in this modern day, many suffer for their faith. Young Christian students are denied entrance to universities, or are assigned the worst jobs if they are fortunate enough to attend and graduate. Members of China’s house churches, if caught, are spending decades in prison or at work camps just for possessing a Bible. Women are forced to be sterilized or have unwanted abortions because of the “one child per family” policy.
Christians outside of China need to realize in a new way the sufferings of Chinese Christians. We are so comfortable in our religious freedom that we never remember to consider those who are willing to pay the ultimate price for their faith.
The Bible League
Since 1938 The Bible League has been committed to making God’s Word available to spiritually hungry people all over the world. They are interdenominational, supported by a wide range of evangelical denominations and agencies. Rather than focusing on raw numbers of Bibles distributed, they emphasize the use of Scripture and the results of that use. They partner to supply Scriptures to local churches and agencies who agree to report back to The Bible League how those materials were used and what results were achieved.
At the average cost of $4.00 for a whole Bible and $1.00 for a New Testament (this includes printing, shipping, and placing each Bible), they can place great numbers of these Scriptures in the hands of those who are trained in evangelism.
The Bible League in China
The Bible League is the number-one supplier of Scriptures to Christians in China’s house churches. Since 1979, they have developed a network of Bible couriers—made up of American tourists as well as Chinese nationals—who transport Scriptures into China, particularly to remote regions where Bibles are most rare. They have delivered over five million Bibles to the Chinese people this way. These workers know they can be arrested, tortured, or even killed if authorities catch them transporting Scriptures. But these dedicated people know the power of the Bible. They want others to experience the joy and salvation they have found in God’s Word.
The Bible League delivers 2,000-3,000 Scriptures to China each day. This may seem a great number, until you realize that an estimated 10,000-20,000 Chinese convert to Christianity each day! This creates an enormous need for more Scriptures. Many Chinese Christians consider themselves fortunate if they possess a collection of a few verses they have hand-copied from a Bible they were once able to borrow.
What Can We Do?
We don’t have to look hard to find a Bible here in America. They’re everywhere—so common they’re almost invisible. If you’ve been touched by God through His Word, you can share that power by giving the Word to others, across the globe.
You may donate to The Bible League directly (16801 Van Dam Road, North Holland, IL 60473, 1-800-334-7017) or through EPM. (100% of all money donated to EPM with special designations goes directly to that organization.) Please designate your donation as “Bibles for China.”
The Bible League is also funded through Bibles for Missions Thrift Centers located in Canada and the United States. These centers are staffed by volunteers, filled with donated materials, and raise millions of dollars so that people around the world can meet Jesus Christ in the pages of His Word.
For those of you in the Portland Metropolitan area, plans are under way for a new Bibles for Missions Thrift Center in Beaverton, Oregon. This would be a great opportunity to become a part of this exciting mission, volunteering to work at the store or providing funds through your purchases to furnish Scriptures around the world.
For more information about the great need for Bibles in China—and how you can help—go to http://www.bibleleague.org/
For further information related to the thrift center ministry or The Bible League in general, you may call Steve Chittenden, Regional Field Director, at 1-425-337-5676.