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We sometimes get questions of where and when certain books have been banned. One came up on a library listserv I belong to. They were wondering about a statement about the Bible being the most banned book. A quick check of the ALA’s most banned list (which it doesn’t appear on) confirmed it wasn’t the most banned, but another librarian found this in a post from Penn State University. I abstracted the most relevant part below, but see the link for the entire post which gives explanations and examples for many banned books.

The Bible and The Koran were both removed from numerous libraries and banned from import in the Soviet Union from 1926 to 1956. Many editions of the Bible have also been banned and burned by civil and religious authorities throughout history. Some recent examples: On July 1, 1996, Singapore convicted a woman for possessing the Jehovah’s Witness translation of the Bible. A 2000 US government report reported that Burma (also known as Myanmar) bans all Bible translations into local indigenous languages. (The military dictatorship of that country also required modems to be licensed, so residents of Burma, like NetNanny users, are not likely to see this page.) Distributing Bibles, along with other forms of proselytizing by non-Muslims, is also banned in Saudi Arabia, according to this State Department report. (An email correspondent told me a few years ago that a sign at a Saudi Arabian airport customs stated that arriving travelers should surrender their non-approved religious books to officials before entering the country. A more recent correspondent tells me that the Saudis generally allow western families to bring in their own Bibles, if they do not bring in more copies than expected for personal use.)”

Read the rest of the post about other books you can’t believe were banned, here:
http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/banned-books.html

Sarah Uthoff is a reference library at Kirkwood Community College. LIKE the Kirkwood Community College Library on Facebook and find links to Sarah all over the web at her About Me Profile.

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