Wycliffe Associates Coming to Foreign Christians’ Aid While Authorities Use Pandemic to Intensify Persecution
December 1, 2020 | Orlando, Florida
(Orlando, Florida, USA)—In countries where governments already oppress Christians because of their faith, COVID-19 has led to more surveillance of Christians than ever before, says Wycliffe Associates. The Orlando-based international organization empowers mother-tongue Bible translators and partners with local churches in the advancement of Church Owned Bible Translation.
“It was already risky for Christians to gather for Bible translation workshops in these regions,” says Tim Neu, Interim President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “Now, whole networks of believers are threatened with exposure. They can be harassed, lose their jobs, be driven from their homes, arrested, tortured, and worse.”
Wycliffe Associates provides training, tools, and technology to mother-tongue Bible translators who want to translate the Scriptures for their own language groups.
“We’ve received requests from hundreds of language groups around the world, some in the darkest places on earth, spiritually,” says Neu. “If they’re caught translating God’s Word, the consequences can be extreme.”
New language projects are launched through Church Owned Bible Translation workshops, where native language speakers learn and participate in a collaborative Bible translation method that Wycliffe Associates first piloted in 2014.
As a result, the group completed the drafting and checking process for approximately 48 percent of the New Testament, without a decrease in the quality of the translation compared to traditional translation methods.
Since then, mother-tongue Bible translators have completed New Testament translations in 417 languages.
In some areas of the world, underground churches are asking Wycliffe Associates for help to get Bible translations underway.
“You and I don’t really know how it feels to be targeted,” says Neu. “They are targeted. We’ve developed systems and technology that enable national Bible translators to work from home if necessary, to work in secret.”
Wycliffe Associates provides mother-tongue Bible translators with technology such as computer tablets loaded with Bible translation apps, Print On Demand systems, and more so they can discreetly translate, print, and distribute the Scripture they have translated.
“Some groups are so driven to translate God’s Word, they’ve started working by hand, laboriously translating line by line,” says Neu. “Our training and tools will enable them to work much faster and to upload their work online, protecting it instantly.”
Today 777 Church Owned Bible Translation projects supported by Wycliffe Associates are currently in progress.
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 Church Owner Bible Translation by providing technology, training, resources, logistics, networking, expertise, volunteers, and support. Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers are currently accelerating Bible translations in 108 countries. For more information, please see www.wycliffeassociates.org.
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