Recently elected leaders of China's officially-sanctioned Protestant churches have said they care about house churches that sometimes operate underground and that they are willing to provide them with Bibles.
The rapidly changing relationship between religion and state was the focus of a dialogue between ten Chinese and nine European scholars and religious leaders representing Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and traditional Chinese religions
Mao Zedong died in 1976, and since then, two big things have happened to China, says Giles Fraser. The first is the explosion of the economy. The other is the explosion of religion - and, sometimes, its suppression.
A German church has far exceeded its initial expectations in so far distributing more than 200,000 black bracelets intended as a symbolic protest against human rights abuses in China during the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and Mennonite Partners in China (MPC) have jointly provided resources to support the relief work of churches in Sichuan and the aid work of The Amity Foundation, a Chinese humanitarian organization.
The Chinese government has given permission for special distribution of booklets of the Gospels, copies of the New Testament and full Bibles during the Olympic Games, but other concerns about freedom of speech and expression remain.
Religion that binds others with condemnation and superstition is far from the heart of the Gospel, says Simon Barrow. The church needs to face its arguments and seek to be a place of healing if it is to rediscover its global role.