Wycliffe Associates Supporting Underground Bible Translators Targeted by Extremists in the Middle East and Central Asia
(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, through their Scriptures for New Frontiers initiative, is supporting local Bible translators living in the Middle East and Central Asia, where there is a widespread, deadly presence of extremists.
Over the past year, 11 of the 28 Bible translators living and working in this region have been reported dead or missing.
“While we mourn those who were lost, we are committed to continue their work, supporting national translation teams in this part of the world,” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates.
In this region, nearly 1,000 languages—representing 280 million people—are without the Scriptures. Bible translators need technology, training, and resources to translate the Bible as quickly and effectively as possible.
Extremist groups are free to operate and are systematically wiping out Christian minorities. Some Christians have been abducted and interrogated in an attempt to force them to renounce their faith, while others have been beaten, jailed, and put to death.
“Given the realities of the world in which these translators live and serve, some people might think the best thing they could do right now is to go into hiding and lay low for a while,” says Smith. “But that isn’t their plan at all.”
Translations of the books of Genesis, Luke, and Acts have already been completed by some and are ready for production and distribution.
The Scriptures for New Frontiers initiative provides open-source Bible translation technology, training to support national-led translation efforts, digital Scripture distribution, and resources to empower local underground translators.
“The church is growing rapidly in these countries through the sharing of God’s Word,” says Smith, “even through means such as God revealing himself to non-Christians in dreams.”
Smith says these Bible translators want the Scriptures to be distributed by every possible means, and they “want an audacious number of printed copies, which reflect their conviction that everyone who speaks their language needs to have God’s Word.”
Wycliffe Associates is currently raising $300,000 to equip these local translators with the technology and training they need to work more safely.
Of the 6,901 languages spoken worldwide, only 531 have a full translation of the Bible. A Bible translation is currently in progress for 2,195 languages, and 1,023 languages in the world have at least one book of the Bible. Wycliffe Associates is striving to achieve the goal of beginning the translation of God’s Word into every remaining language by 2025.
About Wycliffe Associates
Organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators, Wycliffe Associates empowers national Bible translators to provide God’s Word in their own language, partners with the local church to direct and guard translation work, harnessing their passion and desire for God’s Word, and engages people from all around the world to provide resources, technology, training, and support for Bible translation.
Because millions of people around the world still wait to read the Scriptures in the language of their heart, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as it can to see every verse of God’s Word translated into every tongue to speak to every heart. Last year, 2,544 Wycliffe Associates team members worked to speed Bible translations in 73 countries.
***This post was copied in its entirety with permission from wycliffeassociates.org.