68 percent of Europe’s Bible-less languages are sign languages

By June 8, 2023

Europe (MNN) — From a Great Commission perspective, Europe’s rich history in Bible translation and missionary work implies success. However, some corners of Europe remain unreached.

Wycliffe USA’s Meg Hunt says 50 languages still have no Bible translation work underway.

“About 34 of those are sign languages. That means Deaf communities don’t have the opportunity to access Scripture in a language and format they understand best,” Hunt says.

More than 350 known sign languages are used by the Deaf worldwide today. Yet only one of these has an entire Bible.

Hunt participated in a recent consultation meeting with European ministry leaders and Gospel workers from local churches.

“Over 170 Deaf leaders were coming together to look at the remaining sign language needs in Europe and the surrounding area, to dream and strategize, and then plan how to address those remaining needs,” Hunt says.

“[Wycliffe USA partners with] leadership from the local church to understand the desire for Scripture in those communities and how we can come alongside them.”

Sometimes, challenges come beyond anyone’s control – like the war in Ukraine. In these instances, translators have no choice but to adapt to overcome adversity.

“Bible translation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Many political, social, and economic challenges impact our translation teams,” Hunt says.

Pray God will give wisdom, skills, and patience to sign language translation teams. Find more ways to pray for sign language Bible translation here.

“Here in the U.S. or Canada, we’re unaware of what God is doing. I’d love to encourage [readers] that God is working in incredible ways worldwide, and we’re delighted to be a part of that,” Hunt says.



Header image courtesy of Wycliffe USA.

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