Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bibles printed in China not allowed back in China for 2008 Olympics

By Walter Haan,

Organizers of the Beijing Olympics are attempting to explain news reports that Bibles would be prohibited at the Games in 2008, saying today that personal religious texts are welcome.

Reports in the Catholic News Agency and European media touched off an outcry prompting calls to Chinese embassies for explanations. Christian athletes protested vigorously both here and abroad.

The Beijing Olympics committee has explained that the published reports are incomplete.

"There is no such thing. This kind of report is an intentional distortion of truth," said the director of the Beijing Olympics media organization. He said texts and items from major religious groups that are brought for personal use by athletes and visitors are permitted, with one exception.

"We just don't want athletes to bring with them Bibles and other religious texts that are printed in China. We worry that there may be contaminates, such as lead, in the inks and bindings that may harm the participants' performances." Plastic Jesus and Buddha figures made in China for export are also prohibited back in China because these were made to sicken overseas populations only, not citizens of China. Lead in the paints used on the figures is the issue here again.

The official Beijing Olympics website explained the entry procedures for Bibles into the country as "each traveler is recommended to take no more than one Bible into China." Preferably not printed in China, and leave little Jesus and Buddha home too. Copyright by Walter


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