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Question
Should a person buy a Bible that was made in China if they do not know the wages/working conditions of the workers? Should they trust that the publishing company is ethical when it comes to operating in China? Thank you.

Answer
Ray

Thanks for writing.  

The Social Principles of The Book of Discipline has this to say in paragraph 163 (D):

D) Consumption—Consumers should exercise their economic
power to encourage the manufacture of goods that are necessary and
beneficial to humanity while avoiding the desecration of the environment
in either production or consumption. Consumers should avoid
purchasing products made in conditions where workers are being
exploited because of their age, gender, or economic status.

You can find all the Social Principles at this link.
http://www.nyac.com/console/files/oFiles_Library_XZXLCZ/2008BookOfDiscipline_Par

My opinion is to not assume that the working conditions are necessarily horrible in China for any company.  I would assume they don't meet American standards, but on the other hand, the jobs may be more desirable for them than not working.  It's certainly an interesting question worthy of further investigation.  Without it, we really don't know.  China's economy is doing well and it's impossible, I think, to really know all the working conditions.  I have a good friend of mine who is doing business with China (oil field supplies), and he's said that his dealings with them have been fair.

So, bottom line - I would do more investigation into the particular company you're interested in to determine how they treat their workers.  I would not automatically rule them out.  As Christians, I think we need to be aware of poor worker situations, but not rule out anyone when we go to spend our money. I always try to buy American, myself, but also occasionally bought Chinese made products as well.

Hope this helps.  Please take the time to provide some feedback and rate my answer.

Blessings,
Carl

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Carl Fuglein

Expertise

General questions about the United Methodist Church - its history, Book of Discipline, its stance on current issues, church politics and administration, etc.

Experience

I've attended United Methodist Churches for 40 years and been an "official" member for 33 years. I've held many lay positions within the church and am considered a church "leader".

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I've attended the UMC lay speaking academy and am a recognized conference preacher.

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