The state-run China Daily reveals Beijing’s plans to do its part in the dissemination of the Gospel come Games time (h/t Wall Street Journal’s China Journal blog):
Athletes, officials, spectators and tourists can pick up the Bible or just the New Testament for free during the Olympic Games next month.
Tens of thousands of copies of the Bible, the New Testament and booklets with just the four Gospels (according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) have been printed for the purpose, say officials of China’s Christian society.
The cover of the Gospel booklet will have the Beijing Olympics logo. “This is especially significant (because) as far as I know, this is the first time an Olympics logo will be used on a religious booklet,” Xu says. “The Olympic spirit and the spirit of living a ‘purpose-driven life’ that Christians believe in come together in the combination.”
As the newspaper notes, the announcement is attempt to quash rumors that suggested Beijing would refuse to help Christian athletes procure Bibles.