Easy-to-Read Myanmar New Testament released in Yangoon, Myanmar

By December 18, 2003

Myanmar (MNN)–The World Bible Translation Center’s Myanmarese New Testament is one month old.

The Center’s Dale Randolph says the Scripture portion is a great tool for the indigenous church. The East Asian country of 50 million is primarily Buddhist. “There’s indications that there are a great number of people turning to follow Jesus in Myanmar. The reception to our New Testament was fantastic. We had about 110 church leaders gather in the traders’ hotel right in Yangoon and had a great release ceremony.”

Ruled by a communist militia, the Republic of Myanmar is a very restricted society. “Not just religious freedoms, but freedoms of all kind are very limited,” remarked Randolph. The country’s elected official has been under house arrest since the communist militia now controlling the country intervened in 1991. “International sanctions have brought on very hard times for the people of Myanmar,” commented Randolph.

Given the repressive nature of the leadership, there were concerns about the impact on missions. However, because of the eager reception, a different problem has presented itself. The Center printed only five thousand copies for the immediate release, and now is looking at printing a much larger amount in 2004.

Randolph describes the need as continuous. “From what I understand from the brothers there, there’s a lot of people seeking to follow Jesus across that country. The military government that’s there is quite restrictive but its not so restrictive on religion as much as its just restricted on the freedoms of people, period.” The New Testament is the seventh completed in a major East Asian language.

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