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Despite Intense Persecution and Death Threats, National Bible Translators Remain Committed to Translating the Scriptures

December 3, 2019 | Orlando, Florida, USA

Contact: Donn Hallman
Wycliffe Associates
[email protected]


(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization that empowers mother-tongue Bible translators and partners with local churches in the advancement of Bible translation, continues to receive requests for help from Christians living in highly volatile regions who are committed to bringing the translated Scriptures to their language groups.

“Despite the persecution and risks they face, Christians are reaching out to us, asking for the tools, technology, and training they need to launch Bible translation projects,” said Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates.

Bible translators meet in secret with Wycliffe Associates team members to map out translation strategies because they can’t risk being seen with foreigners.

“I am humbled and overwhelmed to see the tenacity of Christians in the most extreme anti-Christian environments on earth,” said Smith. “In spite of the hostility of religious and governmental authorities, in spite of the risk of violence, of arrest, of torture, even death, Christians ardently press on.”

Wycliffe Associates provides training in the MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation) methodology, a collaborative translation method for translating the Bible quickly and accurately. The organization also equips mother-tongue translators with technology that complements MAST, which includes computer tablets, Print On Demand equipment, and Bible translation recording kits.

The persecution of Christians is so intense in some places that mother-tongue Bible translators face incredible danger. Many of the translators must cross the border to work safely.

“In some countries, we’ve helped move national Bible translators out of their own countries because their lives are literally at risk if they attempt to translate the Scriptures in their homeland,” Smith said.

Recently, a translator in West Africa was murdered and his wife was mutilated. And one pastor, a hunted man, has been forced to flee his country and lives under a virtual death sentence. Even so, he remains firmly committed to the work of Bible translation for his language group.

“Some translators are at such risk that they will never be able to go home again,” said Smith. “The translated Scriptures will have to be smuggled back across the border.”

There are currently 1,200 MAST projects in progress around the world.

About Wycliffe Associates

One of the world’s leading Bible translation organizations, Wycliffe Associates was organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators to accelerate the work of Bible translation. 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 have the Scriptures in the language of their hearts, 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. Wycliffe Associates is directly involved with speeding Bible translation by providing technology, training, resources, logistics, networking, expertise, volunteers, discipleship, church planting, and support. Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers are currently accelerating Bible translations in 101 countries. For more information, please see

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