Open Doors International plans to equip the persecuted house churches of China with 1 million pieces of Christian Children's literature in 2004, including 81,500 Color-illustrated Bibles, despite the law in China which forbids that anyone under the age of 18 receive Christian literature.
Currently, over 500 million youth are under 18 and therefore denied access to Christian material. The interdenominational ministry has an overall goal of providing over 3 million Christian resources to China.
Open Doors spokesman Jerry Dykstra says the demand for the materials is growing.
"In the house churches, they're teaching the kids and they need resources. We have so many requests from all over China, especially in the countryside house churches, requesting these materials. And now we're planning to send out special materials for teenagers, too," Dykstra says.
The materials come at a much needed time as Sunday Schools have grown to 1,000 in number, and children, inspite of being teased, beaten and treated with contempt in their schools for being Christian, cling onto their faith.
Open Doors USA President Dr. Carl Moeller said a Sunday School teacher in China told him of a story about a boy who told his teacher with tears that he would rather learn about Jesus than his school lesson.
"This is huge because education in China is everything," said Moeller. “The witness of the children in China is just tremendous. Sunday Schools are impacting not only the children but the entire fabric of Chinese society.
That is why it is so important we provide them with children’s Bibles and other materials.”