Project Pearl

"Project Pearl" is the name of a daring 1981 Bible smuggling operation that smuggled a staggering 1 million Bibles into China in a single night (Project Pearl is also the name of a recent book about the operation).

In 1981, Communist China was still reeling from Mao's Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), which had tried to crush among others, Christianity. The country was still closed to outsiders, who didn't know if Christianity had survived Mao's persecution.

Instead of surviving, it had thrived, as it typically does under persecution, and millions of Chinese Christians were crying out to God for Bibles, which the Communist government had confiscated, burnt and prohibited from being printed.

Project Pearl was backed by Open Doors and the prayers of thousands of Christians around the world. Its crew were 20 ordinary Christians, also from around the world, and its leader was "Brother David", an American who had been printing Bibles in Asia.

Project PearlHow did Project Pearl manage to smuggle a million Bibles into a closed country in one night?

It was by sea. A tugboat pulled a custom-built, submersible barge loaded (photo) with 232 tons of Bibles in water-proof floaters that eventually were pulled ashore to thousands of Chinese Christians waiting at a secret beach location.

The Chinese Christians then carried the Bibles across China.

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