Bibles for Beijing Olympics

A leader of China's Catholic affairs association is calling on the nation's Government to encourage Christians to donate bibles to hotels in anticipation of the thousands of visitors expected for next year's Beijing Olympics.

"The majority of the foreign visitors expected during the 2008 Games have religious beliefs, and we should cater to their needs," Liu Bainian, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said according to a China Daily report.

Liu, who is also vice-president of the China Patriotic Catholic Association, said that the service could also help clear up foreigners' misunderstandings about China in terms of religion.

He added that the Bible is a must at hotel rooms in foreign countries, especially in Europe.

Beijing is expected to receive about 500,000 to 550,000 overseas visitors during the 29th Summer Olympiad, which opens on 8 August next year and will run until 24 August.

Liu said authorities should encourage local Christians to donate Bibles for temporary use during the Games, after which they would be returned.

"The China Patriotic Catholic Association could also help collect Bibles," he said.

Zhang Liwei, vice-secretary of the Christian Amity Foundation, which operates the country's sole Bible printing house, told China Daily that his foundation would try its best to meet demand.

At least 40 million copies of the Bible have been distributed across the Chinese mainland since 1980, said Cao Shengjie, president of the China Christian Council. Around 2.5 million copies of the Bible have been published in China annually over the past decade, said Cao.

The Bible first arrived in China 1,500 years ago, while the first Chinese-language edition appeared in the early 19th century.


SOURCE
Hotels told to stock Bibles for Olympic visitors (China Daily, 10/3/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (Wikipedia)

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