Beijing Denies Bibles, Other Religious Items Banned from Olympics, but Excludes Falun Gong

November 8, 2007

Author: Anita Chang

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

Wire Service: AP

Beijing Olympic organizers angrily disputed allegations of religious intolerance Thursday, saying Bibles and other religious items for personal use will be welcome at next summer's games – except for the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement.

Recent reports by a religious news agency and European media saying Bibles would be banned at the Olympics touched off an outcry that prompted a U.S. senator to call the Chinese ambassador for an explanation and a Christian athletes group to protest the “deep violation.”

Beijing organizers flatly denied the reports, and the Foreign Ministry charged the allegations were likely the work of people who want to sabotage Beijing's hosting of the games.