Have you ever jolted by a simple question? A question that makes you sit up and rethink what you’ve been doing for the last 22 years?
Anne and I have been serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators for 22 years now and are committed to getting God’s Word in the hands of the Bibleless people of the world so they could read it in their mother tongue, the language that speaks to their heart. Changed lives are the result. But, then the question suddenly jolted us …
What if they can’t read?
How does the estimated 20 plus percent of the world’s population learn about Jesus if they cannot read and understand the Bible? Thankfully, Faith Comes By Hearing, another Wycliffe partner organization, is committed to reaching the nations with the Word of God in audio, offering the Bible in a format that will connect with the world’s illiterate population.
Click on the link to read more and understand the potential impact Faith Comes By Hearing can have. And then, similar to someone living in an oral only culture, pass it on to others.
More thought provoking literacy facts:
The Summer Institute of Linguistics, commonly known as SIL, is one of Wycliffe’s partner organization and has a very thought-provoking page on their site that should cause us to pause for a moment. You can check out the page yourself for further reading if you’d like.
According to UNESCO, in the world today there are about 1 billion non-literate adults.
- This 1 billion is approximately 26 percent of the world’s adult population.
- Women make up two-thirds of all non-literates.
- 98 percent of all non-literates live in developing countries.
- In the least developed countries, the overall illiteracy rate is 49 percent.
- 52 percent of all non-literates live in India and China.
- Africa as a continent has a literacy rate of less than 60 percent.
- In Sub-Saharan Africa since 1980, primary school enrollment has declined, going from 58 percent to 50 percent.
- In all developing countries, the percentage of children aged 6-11 not attending school is 15 percent. In the least developed countries, it is 45 percent.(UNESCO 1998)
In the world today, the number of people speaking lesser-known languages is 1.25 billion, that is 20 percent of the world’s population.
- The average adult literacy rate among that population is an estimated 31 percent.
- The average adult literacy rate in their mother tongue among speakers of lesser-known languages is an estimated 12 percent.
- 26 countries have more than 90 percent of the total national population speaking lesser-known languages. The average literacy rate in these countries is 63 percent.
- 21 countries have less than 1 percent of the total national population speaking lesser-known languages. The average literacy rate in these countries is 93 percent.
- Of the world’s non-literate population, an estimated 476 million are speakers of lesser-known languages. In other words, approximately 50 percent of all non-literates are minority language speakers.
There is a correlation between income and illiteracy.
- Per capita income in countries with a literacy rate less than 55 percent averages about $600
- Per capita income in countries with a literacy rate between 55 and 84 percent is $2,400
- Per capita income in countries with a literacy rate between 85 and 95 percent is $3,700
- Per capita income in countries with a literacy rate above 96 percent is $12,600