The irony of American Bible publishing

brown book page
Photo by Wendy van Zyl on

I did not know this:

More than half of the 100 million Bibles printed every year have been printed in China since the 1980s, he said. Of those, 20 million are sold or given away in the United States.

That’s because of the specialized printing requirements for a complex book such as the Bible, which requires thin paper that cannot be fed into standard printing equipment, leather covers, stitched binding, color pages and special inserts such as maps.

China, of course, is legendarily repressive of its citizens’ right to religion. Christians don’t get the worst of this, admittedly, but still: I’m not surprised that Chinese officials allow the publication and export of English-language Bibles at a profit. I am sort of surprised that American Christians would think so little of the freedom of their Chinese counterparts that they’d take advantage of the situation.

Of course, I own an iPhone. That’s probably not much different. But I guess I’m still surprised.

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