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Why Your Bible Was Made in China

Should consumers who worry about the origins of their clothing, coffee, and chocolate focus on a more spiritual item: the Bible? Chances are good that your favorite Bible was printed in China. The over-whelming majority of Bibles sold are printed there, said Mark Bertrand of Bible Design Blog. He said: “A lot of people have misgivings about that. Some of it is, ‘Oh, our Bibles are printed in Communist China.’ Others are concerned about the economic situation, about what conditions these Bibles were produced under.”

The Chinese government’s restriction of Bible distribution is also troubling, said ChinaAid’s Bob Fu. “When brothers and sisters are being persecuted and arrested for their beliefs based on the same Bible, what does it mean to purchase an exported copy that says Made in China?”

China’s only legal printer of Bibles, Amity Printing Company, published its first Bible in cooperation with the United Bible Societies in 1987. Since then, more than half of the 100 million Bibles printed every year have been printed in China (50 million in 2019), making China the world’s biggest Bible publisher.

Printing Bibles is more difficult than printing other types of books, and requires a certain amount of expertise. That’s because of the specialized printing requirements for a complex book such as the Bible. Bibles require thin paper that cannot be fed into standard printing equipment, leather covers, stitched binding, color pages and special inserts such as maps. Most printers outside China do not have the range of facilities to manufacture the same Bibles.

Possible Preaching Angles:

1) Maybe Westerners seeing “Made in China” on their Bibles, can be a reminder to pray for those who made these Bibles. 2) God can use any instrument he chooses to spread his Word, even unbelieving, communist China (Isa. 55:11).

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