BRIEF HISTORY OF UBS WORK IN CHINA
Established in 1946, the United Bible Societies (UBS) is the collective name for our fellowship of 147 individual Bible Societies working in over 200 countries and territories. Bible Societies share a common mission in the efficient use of God-given resources to place the Word of God in the hearts and minds of the people they serve.
The Bible Societies have been serving and supporting Bible missions in China since the arrival of the first Protestant missionary, Rev Robert Morrison, in 1807. In order to continue to serve and support the Bible ministry in China after the Cultural Revolution, UBS established the China Partnership (CP) team dedicated to work with the Church in China on behalf of the UBS Fellowship.
UBS partnership with the Chinese Church came about when top leaders of the China Christian Council (CCC) had a vision of printing and distributing Chinese Bibles in China. This massive historical project became possible due to the coordinated fund-raising efforts of 37 member Bible Societies and two UBS Regional Centers.
In 1988, the Amity Printing Company Ltd (APC) was formed through a joint venture agreement between Amity Foundation and the UBS Publishing Co Ltd. UBS donated the much-needed Bible paper and funding to enable millions of Bible to be printed and distributed throughout China.
In its first year alone, APC has produced around half a million copies of the Bible. Between 1988 and September 2011, more than 88.9 million copies of the Bible were printed, out of which 55.7 million was for distribution within China and 33.2 million was for export. APC moved to a new premises in May 2008, having a capacity to print 18 million bibles a year.
Since 1980s, the UBS CP team has been serving and supporting the Chinese Church in developing and implementing Scripture program to meet the Bible ministry needs in China. One key area is helping to provide affordable Bibles. Thus far, a cumulative total of 70 million Bibles (as at 2015) have been printed for distribution in China over the past 27 years. Besides providing affordable Bibles, UBS CP partnership with the Chinese Church has also expanded into other areas to promote Bible translation, engagement, equipping and advocacy.
Since 1990s, Bible translation work has been carried out for ethnic minority people to make the Word of God accessible to them in their heart languages. Currently, we are involved in helping to translate nine minority languages. Support has also been given to needy preachers and Bible school students through the setting up of Bible resource centers at Seminaries and Bible Schools. Bible tools and other relevant resources are also made available.
We pray that the Lord will continue to lead and guide us as we work with the Church in China so that more people would come to know Him and be established in their faith.
THE UBS CP TEAM
The UBS CP team comprises experienced personnel specializing in cross-cultural work and communication with the Chinese Church partners and Government officials. The bilingual and bi-cultural team understands the contexts and development in China, and serves and supports the Chinese Church in developing and implementing Scripture program to meet the Bible ministry needs in China.
UBS CP serves Bible Societies in providing information on the Church in China and the Scripture program, including project proposals and reporting, real-life stories and photographs. The team also helps facilitate communication and interaction between the Bible Societies and the Chinese church partners through regular updates and organizing trips to China. One of the team’s key roles is to support the Bible Societies in their communication and fundraising for China.
UBS CP serves as a bridge between the UBS Fellowship and the Church partners in China. Within China, it represents the UBS Fellowship to the Churches and ministry partners. Through UBS CP, the UBS Fellowship has been able to develop strong relationship and great ministry partnership with the Church in China, which have enabled millions of Chinese to be blessed with the Word of God over the years.