Just over 40 years ago, the Bible was a banned book in China. But today, in this largely atheist country, the Bible is a best seller.
Christianity in China is growing at a rapid rate. In China today, you will find churches so full their congregants spill out on the pavement. Those in rural areas often walk for hours just to attend a service, while more and more city-dwellers can be found in churches – both underground and state-run – on a Sunday morning.
What’s more, copies of the Bible – once a banned book in China – are now within reach through local churches and specially-licensed bookshops.
'The fire of revival has been burning in China for 30 years. If we want it to keep burning, we need to feed it with God’s word.'
It’s a remarkable story. And we’ve been at the heart of it. Over decades, through working with the registered Church, with the blessing of the government, we’ve carved out a unique ministry in China. In 1987, in response to requests from Chinese church leaders, we helped to establish the Amity Printing Company. In 2008, it moved to larger, upgraded facility, the size of 12 football pitches and with the capacity to print 20 million Bibles a year. It’s now the world’s biggest Bible printing factory.
This astonishing growth is threatening to outstrip the availability of resources. That’s why we are hard at work printing and distributing Bibles across the country, helping to strengthen the roots of the Chinese Church and support new believers to become mature followers of Jesus.
Here’s a look at that work in numbers:
There is an acute shortage of trained pastors in China, with only one ordained minister for every 6,700 Christians nationally. It means leaders must often spread themselves between five or six churches, with congregants hearing their pastor preach perhaps once every two months.
For this reason, we provide Bible study materials and run training classes to help trainee pastors understand the Scriptures and bring them to life in their local churches.
In a country where 51 million adults remain illiterate and children are hungry to learn, we help local churches run adult literacy and Sunday School classes for the community. As a result, many more adults are reading the Bible and over 85,000 children have had a first encounter with Scripture.
With China’s Cultural Revolution in 1966, came an end to religious freedom. The Bible was banned. But now it's one of China's bestsellers.
Find out how you can build the church in China.
In the last 12 months a remarkable one million* people have come to faith in China. That’s equivalent to three people making a commitment to Christ before you even finish reading this page!