China pushes for more sinicization

By January 3, 2022

China (MNN) — A new year is underway, but China is up to its old antics. Top officials recently met to discuss religious affairs and push for more sinicization. Sinicization means changing religious beliefs, practices, and books to fit Chinese culture and society.

“They just reaffirmed that religions in China need to be about Chinese. That’s a difficult interpretation; what, exactly, does that mean?” Kurt Rovenstine of Bibles for China says.

“Pray for our brothers and sisters who live in China. They’re living in that tension between being Chinese and being a follower of Jesus Christ.”

Introduced in 2015, sinicization is a significant focus of China’s Communist Party. See past coverage here and here. Each policy aims to align religious groups with socialist mandates.

“These policies aren’t just against the (Protestant) Christian Church. Muslim leaders are facing this; the Catholic Church is dealing with the same thing,” Rovenstine says.

The good news? “We can keep getting Bibles to those who need it.”

Bibles for China

Printed by an in-country partner, these Bibles have not been “sinicized” or altered in any way. Learn more about Bibles for China here.

“We’re not just mindlessly pumping funds into China because it’s what we’ve always done. We want it to be pure, the unfiltered Word of God, because that’s what changes lives,” Rovenstine says.

(Photo courtesy of Bibles for China)

“We’re committed to the Word of God, first and foremost, in its purest form, without any kind of additions, subtractions, or modifications by any government.”

A new endeavor expands the ministry’s reach. “We are currently working on a project where we have some Scriptures printed outside of China,” Rovenstine says.

Sometime this month, local believers will distribute approximately 50,000 Bibles “along the border of Russia, just outside of China, in hopes that the people who live in that region will carry Bibles when they go home to visit.”

Approximately 8 million Chinese live near the Russia-China border. Pray this new project helps Chinese believers grow in their faith and introduces nonbelievers to the Lord.

“We’re excited about that opportunity and feel like it [could] make an impact on both sides of the border,” Rovenstine says.



Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Kayla Kozlowski/Unsplash.

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