The world's biggest Bible factory has just published its 125 millionth copy of the good book – in officially atheist China.
Since the factory first opened in 1987 it has produced 65.7 million copies in 10 Chinese languages for domestic believers, as well as 59.3 million Bibles published in 90 other languages that have been exported to 70 different countries.
The factory in the southern city of Nanjing is operated by the Amity Foundation, a Chinese government-sanctioned Protestant charity, in a joint venture with United Bible Societies.
According to official figures, fewer than 30 million people in China are Christian but more credible independent estimates put the number of Catholics and Protestants in the country at about 100 million, more than the 86.7 million members of the Chinese Communist party.
Buddhism, which arrived in China from India not long after Jesus died, remains China's dominant religion.
But Christianity, particularly the Protestant variety, is the country's fastest-growing religion and many experts believe China will have the world's largest Christian population within the next 15 years.
"As China opened up to the world [starting in the early 1980s] most people were focused on improving their basic living level, getting clothing and enough to eat, as everyone was poor," says Qiu Zhonghui, chairman of the Amity Bible Printing Company. "Once people reach a certain living standard they start looking for spiritual fulfillment and that's why we see so much demand for Christianity in China – the meaning of life becomes important once you have enough money to survive."
The Amity Foundation is China's biggest faith-based NGO and uses profits from its printing operations and donations to do charity work promoting education, social services, environmental protection, health and rural development.