By Christmas, Christians in China will receive the gift of two shipping containers packed with books and Bibles, said Mission Cry President Jason Woolford.
In total this year, Mission Cry has sent 160,000 free Bibles and Christian books worth $3.5 million into China. And Chinese Christians need Bibles now more than ever because of increased religious persecution, Woolford said.
“In January, the Communist Party intensified their persecution against Christianity,” he told The Christian Post. “It’s not talked about, but if you look up China shutting down Bible stores, right now Bibles are being pulled from online stores in China. They’re trying to control the religion. Just as Nazi Germany did, there are only state-approved churches.”
China’s government forbids the shipping of Bibles to the Chinese mainland but allows shipments of Bibles to Hong Kong, he said, noting that the country maintains some freedom in Hong Kong to create an illusion that the rest of China’s people enjoy freedom.
“Hong Kong is China’s way to say, ‘Look, we’re normal.’ It’s like a showpiece for them. You can send a Bible [there],” Woolford said. “We strategically use that.”
Hong Kong serves as a door for Bibles to reach the rest of China, he said. Once his Chinese partners receive them, the Bibles eventually get sent to mainland China.
Woolford concentrates on sending Bibles to countries where Christians are under attack by the devil. As a former U.S. Marine, he refers to his work as a battle for God. He named Mission Cry to be a spiritual battle cry for God.
“As Marines, we go to where the fight is. You don’t send Marines to Florida,” he said. “I’m thinking, we’re going to send extra stuff to China this year. I’m always looking to where the devil seems to be focusing and we try to focus there with the word of God.”
Since 1956, Mission Cry has reached 178 nations with $390 million worth of Bibles and Christian books.
To send the latest shipment, Woolford partnered with Michigan’s Marr Bible Church. The church sponsored the sending of 2,000 Mission Cry Bibles, he said. The Mission Cry Bibles are American Standard Bible New Testaments with attached discipleship programs.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to partner with Mission Cry. Each year around Christmas time, our church comes up with a ministry or something we could do to impact people in our community and make a difference in our lives,” said Senior Pastor Stan Szelkowski in a video prayer for the Bibles.
The Bibles and books sent to China are written in English, not Chinese, Woolford noted. China teaches English in its education system and about 10 million Chinese people speak English, approximately 1% of China’s total population. In many countries, bilingual Christians are more excited to receive a Bible in English than in their own languages, he said.
“Wherever you have somebody who’s bilingual, they almost always place more importance or extravagance on having an English Bible,” the ministry head said. “We’ve found in the Philippines, Africa, China, if someone is fluent in English and you give them [a choice between Bibles], they would take the English one.”
Christians receiving Bibles in China take great joy in them, he added. One Christian leader in Hong Kong had a major surgery near the time he received a shipment. When he left the hospital, he started singing “Jesus loves me” because of the joy he felt from receiving more Bibles.
“China’s government knows that the Word of God brings cultural revolution. It brings a change physically, morally, economically and spiritually,” Woolford said.