Monday, November 5, 2007

Can Bibles and Qurans Be Brought into the Olympic Village?

So far, I've only found one original source (the Catholic News Agency) to support the claim that Bibles cannot be brought into the Beijing Olympic village. So far, every reference that I've checked goes back to the CNA source. I tried searching the web site, but couldn't find any recent reference that included "china" and "olimpico"; the most recent article was from August and appears to discuss construction of the Olympic venues.

I did, however, find this:

Church to be built in Olympic village
By Wu Jiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-09-04 07:19

A temporary church will be set up in the Olympic Village during the 2008 Games for Catholic athletes, and all churches in Beijing will be open to Catholic tourists, a senior official has said.

The Beijing diocese is training priests fluent in foreign languages to celebrate Mass during the upcoming Games, said Liu Bainian, vice-president of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.

"All will be arranged in accordance with the practices adopted by other Olympics host cities," he said.

According to Games organizers, a religious service center will be set up in the Olympic Village with professional religious personnel providing services to meet the needs of athletes from various religious convictions.

Athletes and those who accompany them can enjoy different dishes specially made in accordance with their religious beliefs, the organizers said.

Religious services and information will be available in Beijing as well as the six other co-host cities.

A total of 60 volunteers from the five major religions in China - Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Christianity and Catholicism - recently attended a three-day training session organized by the Beijing municipal administration of religious affairs for providing religious services during the Games.

Now I'm not necessarily saying that Bibles AREN'T banned in the Olympic Village - it's just that so far, I can only find one reference to any such ban.


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