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Thread: China confiscates Bibles
08-18-08, 02:00 AM #1
China confiscates Bibles
China confiscates Bibles from American ChristiansBy GILLIAN WONG, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 14 minutes ago
Buzz Up PrintBEIJING (AP)—A group of American Christians who had more than 300 Bibles confiscated by Chinese officials when they arrived in China is refusing to leave the airport until they get the books back, their leader said Monday.
Pat Klein said he and three others from his Vision Beyond Borders group spent Sunday night at the airport in the southwestern city of Kunming after customs officers took the Bibles from their checked luggage.
“I heard that there’s freedom of religion in China, so why is there a problem for us to bring Bibles?” said Klein, whose Sheridan, Wyoming-based group distributes Bibles and Christian teaching materials around the world.
The Bibles were printed in Chinese, he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
The move comes as China hosts the Olympics in Beijing, where false media reports last year claimed Bibles would be banned from the games. The state-run China Daily reported last month that 10,000 bilingual copies of the Bible would be distributed in the Olympic Village, which houses athletes and media.
In China, Bibles are legally printed at just one plant—the world’s largest — run by a communist government-backed Christian association, and are available in many bookstores. But the officially atheistic government prohibits proselytizing and is worried that if the spread of religion goes unchecked, believers might ultimately challenge the Communist Party’s authority.
A woman on duty at Kunming airport’s customs office confirmed over the telephone late Sunday that 315 Bibles were found in the passengers’ checked baggage.
The officer, who would only give her last name, Xiao, denied confiscating the Bibles. She said authorities were just “taking care” of them and provided no further details. She later said she was not authorized to speak to the media and referred questions to the national customs headquarters in Beijing, which did not answer phones on Sunday.
On Monday morning, Klein said Chinese officials had shown the group what they said were regulations that banned bringing Bibles into China, but that the documents were in Chinese. “We are waiting for them to come back with the law in English,” he said.
Chinese officials had asked the Christians to leave the room at the airport where they spent the night, but Klein told the officials they did not want to go without the Bibles.
Klein said the customs officers had told him that they could each have one Bible for personal use, but no more than that. He said the officers had videotaped them and were insisting that they leave the airport.
“We don’t want to go without taking those books. It cost us a lot of money to bring them here,” Klein said. “They’re saying that it’s illegal to bring the Bibles in and that if we wanted to, we had to apply ahead of time for permission.”
China faces routine criticism for human rights violations and repression of religious freedom. Religious practice is heavily regulated by the Communist Party, with worship allowed only in party-controlled churches, temples and mosques, while those gathering outside risk harassment, arrest and terms in labor camps or prison.
A Chinese Christian activist was detained Aug. 10, the opening weekend of the Olympics, on his way to a church service attended by U.S. President George W. Bush in Beijing. A rights group said later that the activist, Hua Huiqi, a leader of the unofficial Protestant church in Beijing, had escaped from police and was in hiding.
Police have denied any involvement in Hua’s disappearance."We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -- George Orwell
08-18-08, 02:18 AM #2
Welcome to Beijing. I have enjoyed watching the sports, but the painting of Beijing as some sort of non-backward, non-repressive, cosmopolitan city has continued to irk me. No matter how pretty it looks on TV, it's still a Communist country!"If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970
The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.
08-18-08, 08:03 AM #3
Might be a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
08-18-08, 11:43 AM #4
Communism, no matter how you package it, tie it up with a nice bow, is still a repressive, paranoid system that people find themselves trapped in. The Bible offers freedom through Jesus Christ, a personal savior. Nothing can be a savior in the eyes of socialists except the state, where unswerving devotion is demanded. There is no room for free thinking. Those who do, are considered "obsolete".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9J9t3wLz0F0"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -- George Orwell
08-18-08, 12:57 PM #5SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM-Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"
"It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
-General Omar Bradley, United States Army
08-18-08, 04:09 PM #6I'm your huckleberry...
Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!
You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.
I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
but every girl I found was either one way or the other...
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