November 9, 2007
As to the Chinese organizers of the Olympic Games, it was a misunderstanding and Bibles and other
religious symbols are being allowed in the Olympic Village... Read more in an article by The Christian Post


Now this is it, as it seems... I seriously ask myself if this decision is going to have consequences.
A total boycott of these so-called "games" would make sense.

Olympic Games in Beijing:
Bibles Have To Remain Outside
by JS of German Christian Media Magazine pro, November 5, 2007
Translation Birgit Barandica Eichberger

B e i j n g (PRO) - The organizers of the Olympic Games that will take place next year in Beijing/China, have published a list of objects which, because of "security reasons", are being banned inside the Olympic Village where the athletes are going to be accomodated during the games. Bibles are part of this list.

Only last October, the State Authority of Religious Affairs (SARA) in Beijing promised to be more tolerant toward religion, especially in view of the upcoming Olympic Games. The director of this authority, Ye Xiaowen, explained reporters on the 17th party congress, "I herewith assure you that the religious events we will offer, will not be less than at any other Olympic Games." The Chinese Communist Party has meanwhile recognized that religion has a positive impact on "the economical and social development" of the nation, said Ye acccording a report by Reuters. This is why the state will increasingly support it.

Practicing Christianity in China is restricted to officially registered churches. The government assumes that there are around 100 million Christians in the country belonging partly to underground churches. [...] Underground churches are suffering state-run persecution and many of their followers are imprisoned. Only churches belonging to the "Three-Self Movement" are allowed to print and sell Bibles. In his speech, Ye confirmed, "usually, Bibles are not to be sold in public bookstores." As a reason for this, he indicated that the state is trying to hinder "illegal retailers" from boosting prices. Only shortly ago, a house church pastor was being sentenced to a three year prison term.

Bibles are "security risks"
According to a report by the Italian newspaper "La Gazzetta dello Sport", the organizers of the Olympic Games have banned certain objects because of "security reasons". Not only are athletes banned from bringing their Bibles along, they are also banned from wearing other religious symbols. Other dangerous objects are video cameras and cups. As to a report by the Spanish newspaper "La Razon", this rule is yet another indication of "censorship and intolerance" toward religious symbols, under which Christians in China are suffering. [...]

The acting chairman of the Catholic "Patriotic Movement", Liu Bainian, indicated last March that in view of the Olympic Games, there would be Bibles displayed at Beijing Hotels for foreign visitors. The official newspaper "China Daily" quoted Liu as saying, "The majority of foreign visitors expected to come for the games in 2008, are religious and we should meet their needs." Around 500.000 foreign visitors are being expeted to come for the Olympic Games in August 2008. As to Liu, "it goes without saying" that in western nations, mainly in Europe, Bibles are being displayed in every hotel room.

After a visit to China last August, representatives of the German Protestant Church (EKD) spoke of the impressions they received, as to which the Chinese government would be less restrictive toward Christianity. As to their view, possibilities for practicing religion in the registered Protestant churches are increasing, even though one cannot yet speak of religious freedom as can be enjoyed in western nations. SARA's vice president, Wang Zuo An, declared back then that the attitude of the Chinese government toward religion had changed. They would now aim at the buildup of a "harmonious society" for which religion would be of a great benefit. Wang eleborated that religious freedom is being established in the Chinese Constitution. However, he acknowledged that putting into practice this religious freedom is still prolematic. Yet State Authority of Religious Affairs SARA would be striving for protecting the rights of the faithful.

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