Organizers for the 2008 Olympics in China have released their list of items banned from the Olympic village where the athletes will stay.
Among the “prohibited objects” — Bibles.
The Catholic News Agency reports that the committee behind the Beijing games cited “security reasons” for the ban.
Athletes are also prohibited from bearing any kind of religious symbol at Olympic facilities.
The ban seems to undermine comments released by the country’s top religious affairs official. Last month, Ye Xiaowen acknowledged that he expected large numbers of religious faithful among the athletes, coaches and tourists to be swarming into the officially atheist nation during the Olympics.
Xiaowen, director-general of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, said on Oct. 17 that China plans to offer religious services for foreigners. He recognized that religion will play a positive role “in promoting economic and social development” in the future, Reuters reported.