Since 1980, the sole government-backed Bible printing press in China has published 40 million Bibles, according to the statistics revealed before the unprecedented China Bible Ministry Exhibition in the U.S.
The National China Christian Council/ Three-Self Patriotic Movement (CCC/TSPM) Committee, together with the Amity Foundation, have jointly celebrated the completion of 40 million Bibles at the Amity Printing Press on Jan. 17, according to the Amity News Service (ANS). The celebration coincided with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Amity Printing Press facilities on the outskirts of Nanjing.
The expansion of the new printing site is to match with the growing need of Bibles in China due to the blooming number of new Christians in the recent years. The production volume is expected to be drastically increased to 1 million copies a month, compared to the record number of 5.4 million copies per year in 2004. The Amity Printing Company is a joint venture between Amity and the United Bibles Societies since 1987, serving the Chinese churches, particularly the official ones.
Presbyter Ji Jianhong, Chairman of the National TSPM, brought congratulations on behalf of the National CCC/TSPM Committee. In his address, he also expressed the hope for enhanced future cooperation between the CCC/TSPM, Amity and the United Bible Societies so as to create an even better atmosphere for Scripture reading, to meet the needs of the Chinese church and to further promote the development of Bible ministries in China, ANS reported.
United Bible Societies, General Secretary Rev. A. Miller Milloy and board member Rev. Markku Kotila were also presented. They called the establishment of the Amity Printing Press, with 40 million Bibles printed to date, "a miracle." As the new printing site is scheduled to be completed in mid-2007, the two foreign leaders expressed their willingness to support the national organization "to make that second miracle happen."
Many overseas mission organizations and persecution watchdogs have insisted that there is a huge shortage of Bibles or Christian literatures in China, especially among the rural areas. In addition, in the case of unregistered churches, their Bibles are often confiscated in crackdowns by authorities. Therefore, some foreign Christian organizations such as the Open Doors and Asia Harvest or even overseas Chinese Christian organizations, have tried to provide them Bibles.
Yet, during a press conference Tuesday in Beijing for the upcoming China Bible Ministry Exhibition in the U.S., the president of CCC Rev. Cao Shengjie condemned these organizations for saying Chinese Christians have no access to Bibles. China already prints enough Bibles and is trying its best to transport them to remote villages in the countryside, she clarified.