HONG KONG (EP) – Chinese bookstores are now carrying thousands of copies of the Bible which have been printed in the Communist country on the Western-sponsored Amity Press. It is believed that this is the first time this has happened since 1949.
Purchasers are not required to register their names or sign any documents to obtain copies of the Bible, as was previously believed. And though the availability of the Bible has not been advertised, the entire first shipment of Bibles was sold in its first month, according to News Network International.
The sale of the Bibles is an historic breakthrough, according to Peter MacInnes, the newly-appointed general manager of Amity Press. “In the long term, the most efficient avenue for distributing Bibles in China is not through church agencies, but through bookstore chains, and I hope this will become a more common method of distribution in the future,” he said.
Amity Press has printed about 100,000 cross-reference Bibles and 300,000 non-cross reference Bibles since its inception in October, 1987. A version of the Bible in simplified script should be typeset by the end of this year. Problems with quality control that have kept production at a minimum promise to improve as the staff gains expertise, said MacInnes.