BEIJING — "A group of American Christians who had more than 300 Bibles confiscated by Chinese officials when they arrived in China is refusing to leave the airport until they get the books back, their leader said Monday.
Pat Klein said he and three others from his Vision Beyond Borders group spent Sunday night at the airport in the southwestern city of Kunming after customs officers took the Bibles from their checked luggage.
"I heard that there's freedom of religion in China, so why is there a problem for us to bring Bibles?" said Klein, whose Sheridan, Wyoming-based group distributes Bibles and Christian teaching materials around the world.
The Bibles were printed in Chinese, he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
The move comes as China hosts the Olympics in Beijing, where false media reports last year claimed Bibles would be banned from the games. The state-run China Daily reported last month that 10,000 bilingual copies of the Bible would be distributed in the Olympic Village, which houses athletes and media.
In China, Bibles are legally printed at just one plant — the world's largest — run by a communist government-backed Christian association, and are available in many bookstores. But the officially atheistic government prohibits proselytizing and is worried that if the spread of religion goes unchecked, believers might ultimately challenge the Communist Party's authority.A woman on duty at Kunming airport's customs office confirmed over the telephone late Sunday that 315 Bibles were found in the passengers' checked baggage.
The officer, who would only give her last name, Xiao, denied confiscating the Bibles. She said authorities were just "taking care" of them and provided no further details. She later said she was not authorized to speak to the media and referred questions to the national customs headquarters in Beijing, which did not answer phones on Sunday."
Ah yes, the good old commie doublespeak. When in doubt as to from whence came the ever more prevalent American authority personage gobbledygook, look no farther than the mother of all disingenuousness, socialism.
As in, "We haven't stolen your gun, we're simply taking care of it for a while. Sure it'll eventually disappear, but shit happens when the state tries to be too perfect."