The government of China has announced new internet regulations. Foreigners who post religious material online will need a license to do so. The poster must also be affiliated with a recognized church or institution.
It’s all a part of sinicization, a growing effort to make all religious groups in China subject to the Chinese Communist Party.
Kurt Rovenstine with Bibles for China says, “Everything [that is posted] has to fit within the social harmony, the progress of society. These things are pretty typical within the communist regime. It especially restricts the house churches.”
“Back when COVID-19 hit, just about every church, organization, and gathering put their services online in one way or another.”
Changes to the Bible
MNN recently reported on a new Bible translation commissioned by the CCP. A leaked snippet from John 8 portrayed Jesus as stoning a woman to death Himself rather than saving her.
Bibles for China prints Bibles inside China, and Rovenstine says they closely watch them for integrity. If they see a change like this, they will have to change the way they distribute Bibles. “We have to. Because we’re not obligated to anything except the unadulterated Word of God. So we keep a very close eye on it.”
Preparing for the future
Rovenstine talks about what the future might look like. “We’re beginning to look at Chinese people who have family that come and go from China for work and education. We will try to find a way to get scripture into those folks’ hands.”
For instance, Russia has a large population of Chinese, Rovenstine says. “We’re actively working on a project where we would distribute about 50,000 Bibles to specific Chinese populations that still have a strong connection to China. We hope that we can affect change there.”
So far, Bibles for China hasn’t seen this kind of mistranslation being pushed into Bibles. Pray this continues.
Written by Kevin Zeller. This story originally appeared at Mission Network News and is republished here with permission.