Remembering stories about heroic “Bible smugglers,” few people in the West realize that one of the largest Bible printing plants in the world, the Amity Printing Company, is located in Nanjing, China.
It is reported that 55 million copies of the Bible for Christians in China have been printed there since the printing plant was launched in 1985. After the “Cultural Revolution,” it became nearly impossible to get a Bible in China. The state permitted three million copies of the Bible to be printed, but this was far from sufficient. This led to the establishment of the new plant in Nanjing, thanks to the support of the World Bible Alliance. The new plant, which opened in 2008, can print up to 18 million copies of the Bible a year: this means that it does not only print Bibles for China, but also for 70 countries around the world in 80 languages.
Around 500 people are working there. Since forests are sparse in China and recycled paper cannot be used for the thin but opaque Bible paper, the raw material for producing the paper must be imported from abroad. Bible societies around the world have been subsidizing paper for Bible printing in China: this allows the production of a copy of the Bible at a price of some $3.60, although they sell for $2.40 (16 Yuan), which represents about the price of 30 eggs.
(Source: Die Bibel Aktuell, Spitalstrasse 12, 2501 Biel, Switzerland – www.die-bibel.ch)