China bans Bible at Olympics

 The Chinese government has banned athletes from bring the Bible to the Beijing Olympics - listing the holy text as a 'prohibited object' . A number of news services around the world carried the news last night that the Bible and all other religious symbols will not allowed into the Olympic village due to 'security concerns'. Later reports said that 'devotional objects' will be allowed in compliance with Chinese freedom of religion laws, but 'religious objects meant to propagate a cult' would be banned. . The official Beijing Olympic website says that visitors to China are not allowed to take more than one Bible into the country. . In response to the news, US Congressman Thaddeus McCotter has urged President Bush to re-think his attendance at the Games. "As the world stumbles toward the communist propaganda extravaganza labeled the Beijing Olympics, somewhere Chairman Mao is looking up at us and laughing," Congressman McCotter said. "Mr President how many Bibles will you be taking to Beijing? Will you visit the five bishops and 15 priests imprisoned for opposing the Communist regime's official church? No good government denies God's presences." On 1 June, ICN carried a report from the Falun Dafa Information Centre, which revealed that China's Ministry of Public Security had issued a directive listing 43 categories of 'unwanteds' who are to be investigated and may be barred from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The banned groups included the underground Catholic and other Christian churches; "key individuals in ideological fields," "counter-revolutionary" figures, "the Dalai Lama and all affiliates", "individuals who instigate discontentment toward the Chinese Communist Party through the Internet," and certain types of "handicapped" persons. Members of the indigenous religious group Falun Gong would also be barred, as would "family members of deceased persons" killed in "riots" -- a euphemism for events such as the Tiananmen Massacre - and Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province, which the regime brands "national separatists." Foreign athletes, members of the media, Olympic staff members, referees, sponsors, dignitaries, and the International Olympic Committee itself, will all be investigated, to determine whether they fall into any of the 43 categories. According to AsiaNews, up to 50 Roman Catholic bishops and priests are currently in prison or otherwise prevented from carrying out their ministry in China. Source: Asia News/FGIS

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