When US President Donald Trump threatened tariffs that included printed items, “Christian” publishers went on a crusade to defend their printing relationship with China. It seems most Bible printing is done by Nanjing’s Amity Printing Company. Amity was created by China’s leader of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement—China’s official state church for Protestants. (See: Evangelical Elites sided with China over Trump & US in trade dispute.)
Amity Printing is a creation of the Amity Foundation. The Amity Foundation was launched by Bishop K.H. Ting. Ting served as vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and a member of the National People’s Congress. He was also chairman of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement.
And for good reason. According to Voice of the Martyrs, Bibles printed and sold by the Three-Self Patriotic Movement are often used to arrest Christians who purchase them. According to a first-hand account,
“Not only can I legally buy a Bible in my city, I can buy 10. Problem is I don’t need 10 Bibles in the cities where those book stores exist, I need 10 million Bibles in the country side. In most cases, if you go to a legal Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) bookstore and order many copies, the authorities follow you home, and sometimes arrest you for doing so. (This is our experience.)”
The Three-Self Patriotic Movement launched after the fall of Nationalist China to the Communists. It is supervised by the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China. The “church” goals included anti-imperialism. In other words, the Chinese church would be purged of Western influence.
The Three-Self Patriotic Movement began with the publication of the Christian Manifesto in the People’s Daily. The People’s Daily is the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. (For those familiar with the Cold War the Soviet equivalent would be Pravda.)
Bottom Line: The Three-Self Patriotic Movement is a tool of the Chinese Communists.
And there is good reason why Voice of the Martyrs described Amity Printing Company as a “government-controlled Bible printer.”
So, with every Bible printed by Lifeway and other major US “Christian” publishers in China, dollars are being put into the hands of the very people who persecute Christians.
Amity’s website claims it has printed over 200 million Bibles as of April 11, 2020.
By all accounts, business is booming for Nanjing Amity Printing Company.
Amity opened a branch in Ethiopia—as China expands its domestic business around the globe through its mercantilist Belt and Road Initiative, which is China’s attempt to put a modern look on the Silk Road of pre-modern trade.
According to CT, “For the world’s largest Christian publisher, HarperCollins Christian Publishing (HCCP), more than three quarters of its production costs are incurred in China. Its portfolio includes bestselling authors such as Rick Warren, as well as the New International Version (NIV) and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. The two popular translations give HCCP 38 percent of America’s Bible market, which sees about 20 million Bibles sold annually.”
Also, CT reported “56 percent” of Tyndale House Bibles were printed in China.
Lifeway, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention “spends 31 percent of its total printing costs in China.”
So, saving a few dollars in Bible printing costs, US publishers funded the expansion of China’s global geopolitical reach and the oppression of Chinese Christians.
And if you don’t fear China, just pay attention to how China mishandled the COVID-19 outbreak—turning a local disease into a global pandemic. Then, China turned its own incompetence in handling the outbreak into a chance to expand its geopolitical reach—having its state propaganda blame the US for releasing the virus in Wuhan.
If Lifeway and other Southern Baptists are willing to do business with the very people who oppress Chinese Christians, what does that say about their Christian business principles?
The Coronavirus COVID-19 made everyone aware of the dangers of China controlling vital medical manufacturing. The process of decoupling is happening and will accelerate.
Bible printing is another area that demands decoupling.
Why should US Christians fund China’s geopolitical ambitions and the oppression of fellow Christians in China?