Underground bookstore supplies thousands with Scriptures in hostile Middle East nation

By September 1, 2011

Middle East (MNN) — In the West, everyone has the freedom to walk to the bookstore and buy a Bible. It might not be popular, and it might cause some friction in some parts of the West, but everyone has the right to do so.

But this, as you likely already know, is not the case in other areas of the world. In some Middle Eastern countries, it is illegal to possess a Bible. Being caught with one could mean prison–or death, depending on who finds it.

How do people even acquire Bibles in these nations then? It's not easy. It's a dangerous process that often looks something like this: The Bible-seeker must have a contact who can share information about a bookstore that sells Bibles. The contact must then introduce the Bible-seeker to the shop owner, so the shop owner knows that this is not an undercover government official. Then the shop owner takes the Bible-seeker to a back room, since the Bible cannot be on public display.

It is therefore extremely difficult and dangerous for a person even to get their hands on the Scriptures, much less hand them out. Many people aren't ready to take the risk of providing God's Word.

Biblica has a brave contact, however, who plans to put his life on the line for the sake of the Gospel.

The manager of one bookshop in a Middle Eastern nation requested that Biblica send as many Scriptures as possible to him, certain that there is a great window of opportunity in his country to share the Good News. In response, Biblica endeavored to send 11,000 Scripture pieces to the store owner.

Typically, Biblica can only get about 30 or 40 pieces into such a hostile nation at a time. In addition, the ministry certainly did not have the $70,000 it would cost to provide and distribute the materials in their budget. The Lord overcame both of these hurdles, however, when a ministry partner offered to pay half of the cost, and another organization offered up empty space in their containers to send the large shipment.

The materials are now all going to stock an underground bookstore that could reach tens of thousands with the Word of God in a nation that is seldom able even to see one copy of it.

Biblica establishes bookshops to make Christian materials available in Gospel-resistant countries. This year, Biblica will establish bookshops in four countries, with a potential to reach 150,000 people. Within three years, these shops will become self-sustaining wellsprings of hope in the form of God's Word.

To get involved with this exciting work, click here and scroll to "Streams in the Desert."

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