China (MNN) — In China, a new law restricting any religious material from the internet has gone into effect. The law makes even mentioning religion on the internet illegal.
Only “legally established” churches can get a license to distribute religious material. That excludes China’s many unregistered churches.
Effect on Christians
Churches that relied on the internet during COVID-19 will have to find ways to adjust. For instance, Bibles for China is testing an audio Bible player in five Chinese provinces.
It’s designed for believers in rural areas who might not be able to see or read well. Kurt Rovenstine says, “They are little players that four or five people can gather around and listen to. We are excited about that and hopeful it will be a way to spread the influence and power of the Word of God.”
Free from restrictions?
Chinese officials have approved the device for use. Does this mean Christians can use it free of persecution?
Rovenstine says if people overhear the devices, some might cause problems. But he trusts the local believers to know how far they can go. “There are individuals within China that are ready and willing to push that envelope, to see what is and isn’t prudent and acceptable.”
“But they’ve asked us not to be the ones to push that envelope.”
China has also worked on a Bible translation that radically changes the character of Jesus. Read more here.
However, Bibles for China uses its own printing process. Rovenstine says, “The Bibles that we would distribute in Russia along the Chinese border, for instance, are printed through a partner by our request. It’s under no one’s control.”
Ask God to give courage and wisdom to Chinese Christians. Pray the audio Bibles will encourage many with the love of Jesus.
Header photo courtesy of Bibles for China.