China (MNN) — A recent report issued by the U.S. State Department indicates the world is slipping backward when it comes to religious freedom. According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, North Korea, Myanmar, and China are countries responsible for oppressing religious freedom. China claims the report is full of prejudice, arrogance and ignorance.
The U.S. report on religious freedom worldwide, however, isn't causing any issues for one ministry, Voice of China and Asia. President of VOCA Jonathan Brooks says a mission team has been able to distribute Bibles. "We had the wonderful opportunity of passing out 24,000 bibles — complete Bibles — to rural believers in China. We went to four regions."
VOCA works through registered churches in China, which are the only organizations allowed to sell Bibles. While Bibles can be purchased in China by Chinese Christians, Brooks says, "The distribution of Bibles only goes to the major population centers inside China, and that leaves out half of the people who live in rural China."
It's not easy to get Bibles in rural China. Brook says, "There's not a distribution system in place that takes Bibles out to rural believers. For them to get a Bible, they have to find what city might have them and go and look for a registered church–if they've ever been to a major city like that, and most of them haven't. So Bibles are beyond their reach."
If they did find a place, rural Christians would probably not be able to afford it. "It would probably take several weeks wages for someone in rural China to buy a Bible."
This Bible distribution is reaching many Chinese with the Gospel. "We've been told that up to five people use every Bible that's passed out. It becomes a main Bible for five people, whether it be for family members or neighbors. And out of those five people, up to three people are led to the Lord through the presence of that one Bible."
"It's almost like sponsoring a soul-winning campaign with every Bible that we pass out. We've been told that upwards of 20,000 people a day are coming to Christ in China. So we really don't need to pray for revival: we need to pray that we can equip these people with Bibles," says Brooks.
One 83-year-old woman received her Bible from the team. "When our team member placed a Bible into her hands, that was the first Bible she ever owned."
While 24,000 Bibles is a great start, Brooks says, "Our goal, within five years, is to have distributed over 1 million bibles into rural China. We're two years into that process, and we're well on our way."
For only $5 we can do three things. We can buy the Bibles. We can transport the Bible. And then, we can actually verify that the Bibles were put right in the believer's hands."
$100 purchases a whole box of Bibles for believers. If you'd like to help, click here.