Bible app removed from Apple App Store in China

Christian software company forced to remove Bible app from Apple App Store in China after not having obtained the necessary authorization from the Chinese government.

The Olive Tree Bible app includes Bible text as well as Bible study tools and reading plans for smartphone and tablet users.

The removal of the Bible app comes as access to digital and printed Bibles is increasingly restricted across China.

Christians at a worship service in Beijing. Believers in China find it increasingly difficult to access the Bible

“Olive Tree Bible Software was advised during the App Store review process that we are required to provide a license demonstrating our authorization to distribute an app with book or magazine content in Mainland China,” said a spokesperson.

“Because we didn’t have the license and needed to get our app update approved and released to customers, we removed our Bible app from the Chinese App Store. “

A Quran app was also removed from the App Store at the same time.

In the summer of 2021, several Christian accounts were removed from WeChat – China’s leading social media platform – while Christian search terms such as “Christ”, “Bible” and “Gospel” were also blocked. In early 2021, the Chinese government further restricted the purchase of Bibles in stores and online retailers.

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