Carol Bookstore, a 12-year-old online Christian bookstore broke the news of Bible commentary books banned on its Taobao platform on July 14, where the store has more than 20 thousand followers over the past nine years.
Meanwhile, the Oak Tree Christian bookstore which has been also established for more than 10 years, put up a notice on its homepage, telling about the similar situation and its coping methods.
In the news sent by Carol Bookstore, titled “Urgent Notice, These Books Shall be Read before Withdrawal”, there is a brief explanation for the withdrawal. The store believes that, this is another round of censorship on religious books, especially those regarding Bible commentaries. It listed 22 books banned in its Taobao store and suggested the users to purchase them from its store on Wechat, with an average discount of 20%.
Most of the books are translations of Christian classics, including Bible commentaries and those on Christian basic doctrines. The first category includes works by John Calvin, Martin Luther, and Warren W. Wiersbe, etc, while the second category has more ancient works, such as The Apostolic Fathers, The Life of Moses, Contra Celsum and The Harmony of the Gospels. Classics such as Holiness by J.C. Ryle, The Saints’ Everlasting Rest by Richard Baster and Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards are also listed.
Among the 22 books, 15 are published by SDX Joint Publishing Company, a national first-class publishing house that is highly recognized for its good reputation and rich history. The other books are also published by official press such as Religion and Culture Press and Shanghai People’s Publishing House.
It is worth noticing that, although these books were banned in the bookstores mentioned above, they are available in the online flagship stores of the publishing houses on Jingdong, as well as those on WeChat.
Regarding the current situation, Oak Tree Bookstore said on its homepage, these books will soon be relaunched after changing the book titles into their English initials or Chinese pinyin. Relative sensitive words will temporarily be avoided and users could search for them by entering the first letter.