Beijing should put Bibles at big hotels where foreigners are
likely to stay during the 2008 Olympic Games, a Chinese political
advisor suggested Friday.
A large number of foreign athletes and tourists will swarm into
Beijing for the Games, a majority of whom have religious belief,
and providing Bibles at hotels will meet their religious needs, Liu
Bainian, vice-president of the China Patriotic Catholic
Association, told Xinhua News Agency on the sidelines of the
annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's
Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top
political advisory body.
The service can also help clear up foreigners' misunderstandings
of China in the area of religion, said Liu, a member of the CPPCC
National Committee, adding the Bible is a must at hotel rooms in
foreign countries, especially the European countries.
Beijing is expected to receive about 500,000 to 550,000 overseas
visitors during the 29th Summer Olympiad, which is scheduled to
open on August 8 and last to August 24, 2008, according to an
estimate by the city's tourism bureau.
Liu suggested the authorities encourage donation of Bibles from
local believers for the temporary use and return the Good Book to
them after the Games.
"The China Patriotic Catholic Association can also help collect
the Bible," he said.
The Chinese capital currently has over 700 star-rated hotels and
the number is expected to reach 800 with 130,000 rooms before the
Olympics, tourism authorities said.
Besides star-rated hotels, Beijing has more than 4,000 non-
rated ones which can be upgraded to help accommodate tourists.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2007)