Nanjing: It took Amity Printing Company (APC) 20 years to print its first 50 million Bibles. With the increase in Bible demands from China and Bible orders from overseas, APC printed its next 50 million Bibles in less than 5 years!
On this ‘glorious’ day, distinguished guests from all over the world, including leaders from the United Bible Societies (UBS) and major Bible Societies donors, Chinese government officials particularly those from the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) as well as church leaders from all of China, gathered at Amity Printing Press to celebrate the printing of its 100 millionth Bible.
The Celebration is preceded by a Thanksgiving Service to honour God for His blessing upon the Church in China. Christian leaders from all over the world and in China gathered for a time of worship and exhortation. The Celebration kicked off with a “live” broadcasting of the 100 millionth Bible rolling off the press and a series of impromptu speeches by APC staff from all aspects of printing, on what the printing of the 100 millionth Bible meant to them.
In the opening address, Mr Qiu Zhonghui, APC’s Board Chairman and General-Secretary of Amity Foundation, spoke about the significance of Bible printing in China. It is not just a transmission of God’s Words to His children; it also helps to bring the Chinese people closer to God and to the world. He thanked the United Bible Societies and its donors for their unwavering support especially during the initial establishment of APC.
“All of APC’s achievements today would not have been possible had it not been the friendship and support offered by the United Bible Societies. In the initial years of APC, UBS stepped in to provide us with timely and much-needed help – this we will not forget. Now APC hopes to reciprocate this gesture of friendship by printing more copies of the Bible for the Bible Societies,’’ added Mr Qiu to the sound of applause.
Mr Michael Perreau, UBS General Secretary, congratulated the Press and said: “Today we witness a miracle orchestrated by the great Designer and Architect – a world-class printing press, using 22 gm of paper, providing employment to over 600 people and reaching out to different communities with social needs. APC has placed 60 million Bibles in the hands of the Christians in China and reached the world with a further 40 million copies. APC is truly the largest Bible printer in the whole world!”
Following Mr Perreau’s speech, on behalf of the UBS Fellowship, UBS President Rev Dr Robert Cunville, and Mr Perreau presented a special gift which is the reproduction of the first Chinese Bible, to Mr Qiu. Mr Kua Wee Seng, UBS China Partnership Coordinator, explained that this gift expresses UBS’s longstanding involvement in, and commitment to, the Bible ministry in China. Bible Societies supported the translation and printing of the first Chinese Bible, and have continued to do so since then.
Speaking on behalf of the China Christian Council, Rev Tang Weimin, Vice President of the Council, said that “the fulfillment of God’s Great Commission is not just the duty of UBS or other international Christian organizations, it is also the duty of each and every Christian in China.” He also expressed gratitude to the UBS fellowship and to APC staff, as well as to the Chinese government for its commitment to promote religious freedom in China.
Ms Guo Wei, Director-General of SARA Foreign Affairs Department, commented that: “Today, China has become one of the largest Bible printing nations in the world….This is a good witness to Jesus Christ in China, and to the dedication of China Christian Council/National TSPM in serving the Chinese Christians, and to the Chinese Government’s sincere implementation of the religious policy and support of the Chinese religious ministry development….SARA will continue to encourage and support the printing and distribution of Bible by the Church in China.”
Quoting UBS President Rev Dr Robert Cunville in his speech earlier, his remark gave a poignant closure to the whole Celebration: “I thank God for the wonderful work that the Amity Press has been doing, is doing now and will be doing in the future — to give people, not only in China, but all over the world, the privilege to read the Word of God which talks about this wonderful Peace that only God can give. Many things of the world will change. But thank God, the Word of God will remain the same forever.”
Written by Pamela Choo
for United Bible Societies China Partnership