World's Biggest Bible Producer Says Sales Down

The world's largest printer of Bibles says it is experiencing a decline in demands for the holy word of God.

Bible Society of Brazil, which produces 7.7 million Bibles a year in 100 countries, reports that foreign sales have been in decline for the past two years, according to Agence France-Presse.

The 60-year-old non-profit group says it does not know the specific reason for the decline, nor could it speculate how long the downturn will last.

But the group's head of communications and social actions division, Emi Seibert, suggested that custom barriers in some markets as well as increased competition, especially in China, might have contributed to the drop in sales.

Earlier this year, China in collaboration with the United Bible Societies opened a new Bible printing facility in Nanjing, China. China boasts that the facility is the largest Bible printing plant in the world, which makes the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing the Bible printing capital of the world.

In 2007, Amity Printing Company – China's only state-approved Christian publisher - produced 6 million Bibles.

But now with the new facility, it has the potential to print up to 12 million Bibles per year.

Bible printing rival Brazil is the world's most populous Catholic nation with about three-quarters of the country's 190 million people professing the faith. Including Protestants, the country has a population that is 90 percent Christian.

Half of the Bibles printed in Brazil are sold within the country, while the rest are distributed around the world.