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The Truth About Bibles in China  

The Truth About Bibles in China

Please scroll down to watch a short video from China that is sure to touch your heart.

Dear Friends,

We hope the new decade has started well for you and it will be a fruitful year for your live as the kingdom of God spreads through you.

In 2019, by the grace of God we were able to print and distribute more than 1.1 million full Chinese Bibles to the house church Christians, which is an increase of 42.4% on the previous year, and the highest number since 2014. We thank the Lord for this, and we appreciate everyone who prayed and gave so that the believers in China can access God’s Word. In the present tense and oppressive environment in China, each copy of the Scriptures is a miracle.

We have been contacted by people seeking an explanation, because the Amity Press in China has been publicizing that they recently passed the milestone of printing 200 million Bibles inside China. Obviously if those claims are true then there would be little need for our project.

We would like to take a moment to explain the reality behind that extraordinary number. Some of you who have read our newsletters for years will already know, but for others this information will be brand new.

The Amity Press in China is by far the biggest printer on earth, secular or Christian. It’s a massive business making many millions of dollars profit each year.

Yes, they may have produced 200 million Bibles over the last 30 years, but what they and their partners The Bible Society deliberately fail to mention is that at least TWO-THIRDS are exported out of China. If you go to most Christian bookstores in your country to buy a Bible, chances are that it was printed in China by the Amity Press. Then print millions of Bibles each year in all kinds of languages: Spanish, French, Swahili, Korean, English, and dozens of others.

Therefore over the last 30 years perhaps 60 million Chinese Bibles printed by Amity Press were permitted to remain in China. However, they are ONLY available to registered Christians in Three-Self (government-approved) churches. The 60 million or more house church believers that we serve are strictly forbidden from getting a single crumb of them.

And by the way, the Communist Party has now slashed the quota they allow Amity to print domestically to about 1/3 of what it was a few years ago, so even the registered churches are facing a huge shortage of God’s Word.

Finally, instead of us writing more words, it is probably more effective to share the below short video (56 seconds), showing the reaction of Chinese house church Christians when they first received a shipment of Bibles. Although the video is not new, it sums up how precious God’s Word is to them, and why we feel so privileged to serve God’s people who are so desperate for His Word. Thank you for joining us in this strategic endeavor.

May our Heavenly Father continue to provide the Scriptures to all His children in China!

God bless you,
The team at Asia Harvest

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The Church in China Today

The religious climate in China, especially for Christians, may be messy but it’s not beyond understanding. Here is a course, The Church in China Today, which offers a comprehensive overview of the church in China, ranging from a historical understanding of how far the church has come, to the struggles it endures in present day, to common misconceptions about the state of the church.

“The Church in China Today? Isn’t Christianity illegal there?”  Maybe this has been your reaction to hearing about the church in China or maybe you’ve heard others react this way. As with many things in China, the answer is “yes and no” but the part that is an absolute “yes” is that Christianity in China is growing.

In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping, demanded to meet privately with several senior Chinese house church leaders. Although the content of their discussions was kept strictly confidential, the results were soon evident, as waves of persecution broke out against the house churches throughout China.

In Shandong’s Qingdao City, the police visited a local house church leader and told him, “We know all about your meetings. We have been instructed to close you down, but we will continue to let you meet if you give us all the weekly offerings you collect in your church!”

The house church leader rejected the attempted extortion, and the church broke up into numerous small groups, allowing them to gather discreetly and without disturbance from the corrupt local authorities.

In 2017 and 2018, many pastors and evangelists have been arrested and interrogated, while others have been bundled into vans or taken from their homes and sent to one of China’s notorious secret “black jails”—unofficial places where the government’s perceived enemies are taken and tortured mercilessly.

A letter received in late 2018 presented a sobering summary of the conditions:

“The government now requires that all churches be controlled by the Communist Party. They must even display the national flag to show their loyalty. Some large churches have been asked to hand over their offerings to the police. When the pastors refuse to do so, they are ordered to disband their congregations. The crackdown has been spreading and we expect tough times ahead. 

The government is once again trying to squeeze the life out of the Church. There are new laws prohibiting any religious activities without government approval—even holding Bible studies of more than ten people in homes. We need to conduct trainings with fewer participants. 

Things here are like in Mao’s day! We never thought we would return to such a time. The younger generation of believers have never experienced severe persecution, and they are shaken. Please pray they will patiently endure, and their faith will be tested and found to be like pure gold.”

The Church in China has been blessed with powerful revivals, and from the ruins of ashes, floods, famines and wars has arisen a shining and holy Bride of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has gained much glory from His disciples, where today an estimated 100 million plus people confess Christ as Lord and Savior.

While the current leaders of China appear determined to repeat the mistakes of their predecessors by again trying to destroy God’s children, let us pray that the persecution will again result in revival and continual rapid growth in China.

The greatest need of Christians in China continues to be Bibles. Those in rural areas struggle to access God’s Word, and the large numbers of new believers has seen the size of the need far outstrip the supply. The need for Bibles is greater than ever, with an increasing number of believers in China unable to access Bibles due to government restrictions and persecution.

From the early days when we hauled heavy bags and suitcases of Bibles across borders we now put “Bibles on USB Drives.” Pray that each of these life-changing USB drives will find their way to many who are searching for the truth, and that they would be gripped and convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit as they read the Scriptures for the first time.

It may be hard for some people to really picture the hunger for God’s Word that exists in China. We need to press on even when the Word of God is been marginalized, cast aside or banned from the public domain by the Government.

China demolishes hundreds of churches and confiscates Bibles during a crackdown on Christianity
China Tells Christians to Replace Images of Jesus with Communist President
What Christianity in China Is Really Like
China Just Made Life Way Harder for Christians
In Xi we trust – Is China cracking down on Christianity?
The Brutal Truth About Persecution of Christians in China
We are scared, but we have Jesus

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Bible Printing

Bible Printing 04

In the year 2015, the “Amity Printing Company” printed more than “12 million” bibles. The majority was destined for export. Since the establishment in 1988, the Amity Printing Company printed more than “142 million” bibles.

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The Amity Printing Company is a “joint venture” between the Amity Foundation and the United Bible Societies. Amity Bibles are “distributed” in more than 70 countries and cover more than 90 “languages,” including ethnic minorities languages and “Braille.”

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In 2015, the Amity Printing Company opened a service center in Ethiopia.

The Amity Printing Company has an annual printing “capacity” of over 20 million books and provides “affordable” Bibles of high quality.

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The Bibles have received various international prizes within the printing sector. Corporate social “responsibility and sustainability” are core values of the Amity Printing Company’s culture.

It promotes “environmental” protection and follows the development of “low-carbon” emission. The Amity Printing Company is “certified” as a national model enterprise and “recognized” as a Green Enterprise.

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Being the World’s “largest” Bible printer, the Amity Printing Company is a popular visiting “destination” for national and international visitors and dignitaries.

Amity Printing Company Website

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Chinese New Year 101

Chinese New Year 01

The “Chinese Lunar New Year” is the perfect holiday to build “friendships” with Chinese neighbors in your community. This “holiday” is as important to Chinese as “Christmas” is to Americans.

Chinese people living “away” from their homeland often find it to be a “lonely” time, but you can help them “feel right at home and loved.” Don’t let worrying about “making cultural mistakes” keep you from reaching out to your Chinese community.

Here’s some basic “information and ideas” for reaching your Chinese neighbors and friends with “Christ” to get you started.

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The holiday “normally” falls in January or February. The date “differs” each year according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

Celebrations officially last from the “first day until the 15th day” of the Lunar New Year. However, if you include the “special activities” prior to the New Year, such as special “family gatherings” on New Year’s Eve, the holiday count increases even more!

2015 February 19
2016 February 8
2017 January 28
2018 February 16
2019 February 5
2020 January 22

OUTREACH: Throw a party! Invite Chinese students and your neighbors to your church or home for a Chinese New Year’s Eve party.

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This is a time for family and eating. Many of the “food” items eaten at the New Year time have a “special” meaning. For example, “oranges” are considered a symbol of wealth, while “fish” are symbolic of abundance. Plants and food items are the most popular “hostess” gifts during the holidays.

Two “big family meals” take place at Chinese New Year, each one consisting of “dozens” of dishes. The first one is on “Chinese New Year’s Eve” and the other is on the evening of “Chinese New Year’s Day.”

On Chinese New Year’s eve, family members (especially in northern China) participate in making “jiaozi.”

Chinese New Year 04

Jiaozi, a meat dumpling, is the “traditional” food eaten on Chinese New Year.

The jiaozi is “cooked” the following day and will be eaten for “breakfast,” and sometimes for lunch. To many Chinese, eating “dumplings” on the New Year is as important as eating “turkey” on Thanksgiving is to many Americans.

OUTREACH: Invite Chinese students and neighbors to your home/church for dinner. Whether you serve Chinese food or Italian spaghetti, your invitation will open doors of friendship you never imagined.

OUTREACH: Ask your Chinese friends to teach you to make jiaozi or other Chinese food. Ask them ahead of time what ingredients should be purchased and visit an Asian grocery store.

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Millions “jam” Chinese public transportation to get to their “parents’ or grandparents’” homes prior to the start of the holidays, which is why Chinese New Year is often dubbed as “the world’s largest annual mass migration.”

Due to “work” responsibilities or “finances,” not everyone can return home. Chinese New Year, therefore, becomes a special time for “Christians” to reach out in friendship to those who feel “lonely and isolated.”

OUTREACH: Chinese who live abroad often miss the excitement of the holiday and many really miss their families at this time of year. A meaningful way to express interest in their lives would be to simply acknowledge the festival, ask them about the holiday traditions and past family celebrations. This is easy to do as you greet people at the grocery store, clinic, school, etc. This will help open the door for a longer, deeper conversation later.

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Lots of “doorbells” ring on the first day of the New Year as people visit “friends and relatives” to pass along New Year greetings. Some visitors don’t even go “inside” the homes, but merely stop at the door to share a “word of cheer.”

Surprise your neighbors and friends by saying “Happy New Year” to them in their primary language. It’s easy! Just play the “recording and repeat” out loud.

People also exchange greeting cards at Chinese New Year. People “seldom” send cards any “other time of the year,” not even at birthdays. Printable Chinese New Year greeting card are available in English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese characters.

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Visiting neighbors, long lost friends and family is “important” during the holiday. If an adult visits a home that has a “child” – anyone from a baby to a young, unmarried adult – the adult gives a “red envelope” to the child. Inside the “decorative” envelope is money.

OUTREACH: Give a greeting card. Either download one here or make your own out of red construction paper, glitter and glue. Put on something red (the color of new year’s) and take them to Chinese students studying in local colleges, to the Chinese doctor in your community and to other businesses where Chinese work. Whether the Chinese have been in your country for generations or are newly arrived, they will appreciate that you thought of them on their special day.

OUTREACH: Give the best gift! Give Chinese or bilingual Bibles as Chinese New Year gifts. You can purchase these from www.biblica.org or www.bibles.com. If your friend is originally from Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan, they will be able to read Bibles written in “traditional” Chinese characters. If they are from China or Singapore, they will read Bibles written in “simplified” Chinese characters. You can also order a free bilingual book of Luke while supplies last.

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On New Year’s Day, people usually stay home to “relax and eat” traditional foods.

Some go to temples, burning “incense” to idols on the first day of the festival. Temples visited during the New Year may be “Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian” or any one of many temples built to Chinese “traditional gods.”

Christians worship God and “pray” for His blessings in the coming year at special “church” services. For many believers, this will be the “first” time they tell their families about their “new found faith.”

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The “last” day of Chinese New Year is known both as the “Lantern Festival” and “Yuan Xiao Festival”  (yew-EN-shee-ow.) It “marks” the end of the holiday. People light “lanterns” that float into the night sky or “stroll” through local parks that have large colorful “decorative lanterns” on display.

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Children can make their own paper lanterns by downloading these instructions.

OUTREACH: Decorate your party with lanterns. You can even have your Chinese friends help you make the lanterns. Buy the supplies and make them together.

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At midnight, at the start of the “fifth” day of the New Year, many Chinese set off a “barrage” of fireworks to welcome the “money god” and his arrival on earth for the coming year. Legend says that whoever sets off the “loudest and largest” amount of fireworks “first” will become “rich” during the coming year. The “deafening” fireworks on this night even surpass the “lights and sounds” of New Year’s Eve!

OUTREACH: Get fired up! If fireworks are allowed in your community, set them off along with your Chinese friends on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Watch them smile. Most young Chinese say the fireworks are a fun way to bring in the New Year and do not hold to the superstitions above.

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The “customs” associated with Chinese New Year are “numerous” and can vary slightly from “region to region.”

Pray that God will bless Chinese people around the world during the coming festival and the coming year.
Pray that many will hear of God’s goodness and his plan of salvation.

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