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Bibles in China and India

October 2006

Demand is rising for Bibles in China and India despite Christians there being in the minority.
The People’s Republic of China has an official Bible printing house. Since 1987 its press in Nanjing has turned out more than 46 million copies of the Bible and the New Testament. Official Bible distribution figures in China have reached 2.5 million copies per year. This does not include Bibles smuggled into the country and clandestine printing. A new printing press currently being installed in Nanjing will boost output to 10 million Bibles per year.
The number of Christians among the 1.3 billion inhabitants in China is difficult to estimate. Up to 100 million may claim to have Christian associations. It is thought that three out of four Christians worship in unregistered churches not controlled by the Communist authorities.
India has 1.1 billion inhabitants. Roughly 80% are Hindus, 12.5% Muslims and 2.4% are said to be Christians. A large number especially in rural areas still suffer discrimination because of the caste system. Among these are Dalits (untouchables) and the indigenous Adivasi people. According to the German Bible Society large numbers of Dalits and Adivasi are turning to the Christian faith.
Approximately 160 million Dalits are suffering severe discrimination. The same is true of 80 million indigenous Adivasi people. Most of them are too poor to afford a Bible, New Testament or even gospel tract. The Indian Bible Society is striving to provide more audio Bibles for these groups (Editor’s note: it is impoverished groups like these that we are seeking to reach with ET International).

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