Friday, September 9, 2011

'Godless' China to be world's biggest supplier of Bibles?

A Deutsche Presse Agentur story released on the eve of the New Year's reveals that Nanjing is about to be home to the world's largest Bible factory to be housed in what's been described as an "aircraft hangar-sized plant" capable of producing 1 million copies a month, or one Bible per second.

Amity Printing's current factory is already 800,000 Bibles a month in 90 languages, from Braille to Slovakian to Swahili. Megan Hunt, a volunteer English teacher with Amity in Yizhou, Guangxi Autonomous Region has graciously shared with Shanghaiist her pictures of what the current plant looks like. Click for more after the jump:

This looks like just any other factory in China.

Another view of the plant.

Reams and reams of paper that reach to the ceiling. A lot of this paper has been donated by the UK-based United Bible Society and other overseas Christians.

The word of God being printed by these old rickety macines that have served Amity for years.

Women ripping out faulty pages.

And this is where they all end up!

Pages for the Bibles being collated before the binding. Does it not strike you how most of the work seems to be done manually? A state-of-the-art US$4 million Timson publishing press has just been shipped in from Europe for the new plant that will replace the old system.

The finished products. More than 50 million Bibles have been produced this way, with over 80% of them in the Mandarin-language edition.

Bibles that have passed quality inspections are tagged "合格" (approved) before they are sent to be sold at state-sanctioned churches throughout China for as little as 9.50 yuan (US$1.30) each. Other language versions are exported to other parts of the world.

For another equally interesting look at Amity Press, refer to BENSLCHAN's photo set. The Amity Foundation has its official website here.

Maybe you, too, have an interesting photostory to share with Shanghaiist readers? Get in touch with us at info AT shanghaiist DOT com!


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