Report reaching us has it that Bibles have been pulled from the shelves of online stores and large bookshops across China as Beijing continues to clamp down on how citizens practice religion.
The country has always controlled Bible sales – only permitting it to be distributed and printed by state-sanctioned churches – but it has become possible to buy it online in recent years.
However, the Asian country appears to have cracked down on the loophole, with searches for the Bible on China’s largest e-commerce platforms starting to generate “no results” responses.
Taobao, Jingdong, Amazon and DangDang.com are among those platforms which divulged no results for the sacred text.
The apparent elimination of the book comes as tensions emerged between China and Rome over a momentous deal that some perceive to be on the brink of being signed.
The negotiation would give the Vatican greater control over the appointment of bishops in China and would serve to reunify relations between the Vatican and Beijing which deteriorated in 1951.
While China’s ruling Communist Party is officially atheist the Chinese government recognises Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Protestantism and Catholicism.
Chinese president Xi Jinping, who recently abolished term limits for the Chinese presidency, has stringently cracked down on Christianity since coming to power. Christmas was banned in some universities in the country over December.
Story credit: The Independent