Southeast Asia (WAS/MNN) — As long as people exist who have not heard the Gospel, there is still work to do.
Wycliffe Associates, a global organization that involves people in the acceleration of Bible translation around the world, is supporting Bible translation efforts in a country where only two percent of the population are Christians.
“It is the new frontier for God’s Word,” says Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates, “a nation with the largest number of unreached people anywhere in the world.”
There are 110 languages without any of the Scriptures in this country, where much of the population worships ancestral spirits along with thousands of gods and goddesses.
“Evil has such a hold on the country that those who believe in Jesus Christ are targeted for intense persecution,” says Smith. “We hear reports of attacks, beatings, and other acts of violence against believers in this region of the world.”
Christian pastors, their families, and other believers have been attacked, beaten, and even murdered.
One such victim of religious persecution is a man identified simply as *Natanas, who is part of a team that is recording the Scriptures in his first language. After converting to Christianity, the people of his village were angry that he no longer gave money to appease the gods, and they began retaliating. “They prohibited me from drawing water from the village stream,” he says. “I was cast out of my family. Then my people asked me to leave the village.”
Natanas says he finds solace in the Scriptures, adding, “The Word of God in my language helps me to understand what the Word says. How can I lead a good life? Now I know better about eternal life in Christ.”
“Believers like Natanas are investing their lives into this effort to speed Bible translation for their own people,” says Smith. “National translators live on next-to-nothing and face brutal persecution. In some cases, they pay the ultimate price.”
Wycliffe Associates is currently raising $200,000 to continue its support of Bible translation efforts in this South Asian nation, which the organization isn’t naming for security reasons.
“The need for Bible translation is urgent,” says Smith. “In the face of persecution, believers in South Asia are stuck and powerless without God’s Word.”
If you would like to support this effort, click here.
*This is pseudonym for security reasons.