Bibles Banned at Beijing Olympics: Will Media Notice?
By Tim Graham | November 4, 2007 – 08:58 ET
Will the Bible be banned in Beijing for Olympic athletes? Catholic News Agency reports:
Organizers of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing have published a list of “prohibited objects” in the Olympic village where athletes will stay. To the surprise of many, Bibles are among the objects that will not be allowed. According to the Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, organizers have cited “security reasons” and have prohibited athletes from bearing any kind of religious symbol at Olympic facilities.
This sounds contrary to what the communist government was promising just a few weeks ago. See Reuters:
“We are learning from practices in past Games to make sure that their demands for religious worship are met,” Ye [Xiaowen] told reporters on the sidelines of the ruling Communist Party’s 17th Congress. “Here I can promise that religious services we offer will not be lower than the level of any previous Games,” Ye said. He did not say if proselytising would be allowed.
Olympic agencies of the free world shouldn’t tolerate this kind of intolerance. But will the media notice?
Other objects on the list include video cameras and cups.
The Spanish daily La Razon said the rule was one of a number of “signs of censure and intolerance” towards religious objects, particularly those used by Christians in China. Currently in China five bishops and fifteen priests are in prison for opposing the official Church.