Lack of Bibles opens doors to cults in China

By June 21, 2004

China (MNN/BL) — China’s Christians have long faced threats of persecution and strict governmental controls. But now there’s a more urgent issue, according to many evangelical Chinese church leaders, combating the violence and false teachings of cults.

“So many spiritual babies are born; who is going to take care of them?” a Bible League ministry partner recently asked. “If we don’t take care of them, the cults will.”

Cults like “Lightning From the East”, known also as “Eastern Lightning”, prey on the hunger for spiritual truth that many Chinese feel after decades of Communism and the eradication of religion during the Cultural Revolution.

There are an estimated 80 million Christians living in China. More than 50 million don’t have a Bible.

It’s this combination of spiritual hunger and lack of God’s Word that makes new Christians vulnerable to cults. Eastern Lightning targets evangelical, underground church members. According to sources, it uses threats, seduction, kidnapping, and even torture to convert Christians to its twisted theology, which believes in reincarnation and denies the Trinity.

Without Scriptures to reference, these Christians may not realize they’re being led astray.

Last year, the Bible League placed more than 770,000 Scriptures in China’s house churches through a program called “Project Philip,” which teaches Christians how to guide their family members, friends, and neighbors through Bible studies. Participants earn their own copies of Scripture to read and memorize, and these new Christians, firmly grounded in the Word, become less vulnerable of cults.

This was the right help at the right time, says one Bible League-trained worker: “Recently, Eastern Lightning is getting active again. Their deceptive methods seem to have taking a new turn. Unlike previous money lures, marriage traps, and physical brutality, they try to take advantage of the believers’ compassionate hearts…they try to woo relatives into the cult and refuse to take no for an answer.”

Funding for Bibles is critical to help these believers. Go to their web site or call (866) 825-4636.

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