David C Cook has been a leading Christian publisher in China for years. An article in the January 2012 edition of Christianity Today magazine highlights some surprising advances in Christian publishing in China. In his article Discipling the Dragon, author John Kennedy says that in spite of strict controls that still remain in the area of media and continued limits placed on freedom of religion for some, there has been a great increase in overall sales and in the number of Christian book titles that are now legally available. The author offers several reasons for this dramatic change. He says
While book content is still under stringent review, communist leaders increasingly view religious literature as a positive influence on Chinese citizens
Restrictions remain, especially for works that broach church-state relations or explore Christianity in China, though many more titles have received permission to be printed in recent years than in the past. This attitude has also made it possible for online-only retailers like Baojiayin (click here for the website in Chinese) (click here for the site in English) to promote and ship Christian titles direct-to-consumer legally anywhere in China. A Baojiayin employee says,
We’re seeing things approved that five years ago no one would have thought would ever be approved.
In-country publishers like Enoch Publishing and ZDL have also been influential in the growth of titles and in sales. Distribution through Christian bookstores, secular bookstores and online has increased dramatically in the past 8 years.
Popular titles by authors like Rick Warren, Gary Chapman, Philip Yancey and C.S. Lewis are widely available as are copies of the Bible.
David C. Cook publishes what is probably the most popular Bible commentary series in China, The Be Series by Warren Wiersbe. In 2009 Cook signed formal agreements with the China State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA) and the China Christian Council (CCC) for the commentaries.
Among other titles, Cook is releasing the popular Story of Jesus as shown at the top.
Cris Doornbos, CEO of David C Cook, says,
By working with SARA and CCC, all these resources will then be legal in China and have a much broader reach than they do today. Now is our opportunity to make sure we give the church in China all the Christian resources that we can.