China seems to be quietly adjusting people’s religious freedom. While the country has never been a leader in religious liberty, Chinese President Xi Jinping is in the middle of adding significant restrictions to Chinese people’s ability to practice religions that are not “Chinese in orientation.” Case in point, Bible are being pulled from online bookstores. Chinese social media users noticed Bibles disappearing from popular online platforms like Amazon, Taobao, Jingdong and Dang Dang.
The move coincided with a white paper circulated by Chinese authorities that said religious communities in the country should “adhere to the direction of localizing the religion, practice the core values of socialism, develop and expand the fine Chinese tradition and actively explore the religious thought which accords with China’s national circumstances.”
This is one of several decisions the government has made in the past few months that negatively affects Chinese Christians. Bibles were previously banned from physical bookstores and Christians could only purchase them at church bookstores.
Some social media users speculated the Bibles that have been yanked from booksellers will soon be replaced by a new, “state-sponsored” version.