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High Demand for Newly Translated Bibles Prompts Wycliffe Associates to Step Up Printing Systems for Underground Churches

November 1, 2019 | 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, says the demand for Bibles has dramatically increased—especially in the Middle East.


In areas where Christianity is a minority religion and Christians risk persecution, even death, Wycliffe Associates’ Print On Demand system (PODs) allows believers to print Bibles inconspicuously, thus reducing the risk of detection.


“We can’t ship Bibles into many areas,” said Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “Mother-tongue translators must be able to print the Scriptures themselves, in the heart language of the people they’re reaching. Our Print On Demand equipment gives national Bible translators the ability to print Bibles each day—and do it quietly.”


Word of the printing equipment has spread through the Christian community, where local believers have been discreetly printing thousands of Bibles.


Wycliffe Associates trains workers to operate and maintain high-speed, digital printing systems, which can be concealed in the small room of a safe house. The translated Scriptures then can be printed from a flash drive.


“In six countries, our small Print On Demand systems can’t keep up,” said Smith. “Demand is high, with the potential to reach millions of people.”


These compact, portable printing systems can be operated in secret by local believers and underground churches in volatile regions or communities.


The systems also complement Wycliffe Associates’ MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation), a collaborative translation method which enables teams of national translators to translate books of the Bible simultaneously and quickly. When mother-tongue translators complete a new translation, the equipment makes it possible to immediately print and distribute Bibles or portions of the Bible.


Wycliffe Associates hopes to provide six high-capacity, Print On Demand systems at a cost of $25,000 each to help meet the growing demand for Bibles, particularly in the Middle East.


“Day after day, more and more people ask for Bibles,” said Smith. “The teams run the printing equipment nonstop, producing as many Bibles as the printers can handle.”


To date, Wycliffe Associates has deployed 114 Print On Demand systems (PODs) in 41 countries. More than 1,200 MAST translation projects are currently underway.


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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