Chinese Government Removes Word ‘Bible’ From Iconic Kids Novel ‘Robinson Crusoe,’ Arrests People Selling Audio Bibles in Latest Crackdown By Will Maule for Faith Wire
Authorities in China have continued to crack down on the Christian faith, this time by erasing faith-based words from children’s stories contained within school workbooks.
According to persecution watchdog The Barnabus Fund, the Chinese government has sanctioned the removal of the words “God,” Bible,” and “Christ” from popular storybooks such as “Robinson Crusoe” and “The Little Match Girl.”
The stories are part of a new textbook being introduced in China that aims to help students “understand other cultures,” according to the Ministry of Education.
How have the words been erased?
In the 18th century classic novel, castaway Robinson Crusoe discovers three Bibles inside a shipwreck. This is a significant moment in author Daniel Defoe’s tale, as Crusoe would go on to use the scriptures as his moral compass and means of spiritual reformation while stranded on the island. However, the redacted Chinese version simply notes that Crusoe happened upon “a few books,” trashing the idea that he discovered the spiritual texts in the first place, let alone entertaining the notion that they had any sort of positive effect on him.
In “The Little Match Girl,” Danish author Hans Christian Anderson penned the line, “when a star falls, a soul goes to be with God.” The Chinese version, however, reads simply, “when a star falls, a person leaves this world.”
Finally, contained within Anton Chekhov’s story “Vanka,” there is a section where a prayer is prayed inside a church, during which the word “Christ” is mentioned several times. In the Chinese version, the term completely vanishes from the text.