For The Press

Press Release

12/01/2017: Wycliffe Associates Steadfast in Support of Persecuted Mother-Tongue Translators Providing Broader Access to the Scriptures

(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the acceleration of Bible translation, is being inundated with requests from language groups around the world who have waited for generations for the Bible to be translated into their languages.

“They will do the work themselves—gladly, joyfully—but they need us to help them get started,” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of the Orlando-based Wycliffe Associates.

Word has spread in Christian communities about the organization’s breakthrough translation strategy known as Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation (MAST), which enables language groups to translate the Scriptures for themselves in a matter of months.

Wycliffe Associates piloted its first MAST workshop in 2014, where a group of mother-tongue translators completed the drafting and accuracy-checking process for approximately 48 percent of the New Testament in their language in just two weeks. The quality and accuracy of the MAST method has been reviewed by multiple experienced Bible translators, who have participated in checking the work of numerous translation projects around the world.

In language communities where traditional missionaries are forbidden and Christians suffer ongoing persecution by majority religions, the MAST strategy equips mother-tongue translators to efficiently translate the Scriptures, giving local churches and Christians swifter access to the Scriptures in their own language.

“We’re receiving requests from some of the most dangerous places on earth, places where demonic oppression has become tragically commonplace, where Bible translators could easily be arrested, attacked, even executed for their work,” says Smith.

In addition to persecution from majority religions, translators have encountered spiritual warfare, Smith says. National Bible translators have fallen ill, been arrested, and even killed because of their Christian faith and their participation in Bible translation.

Along with MAST workshops, Wycliffe Associates provides training and support to mother-tongue translators through Print On Demand (POD) systems, which enable translators to quickly and discreetly print Scripture a few copies at a time or in larger quantities. The compact, portable systems can be easily relocated from one safe house to another.

To date, over 1,000 Bible translation projects have been launched using MAST workshops, and 64 POD systems have been deployed in 20 countries
Of the 7,097 languages spoken in the world, 2,758 languages still need a Bible translation project to begin.

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. Last year, 7,097 Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers worked to speed Bible translations in 76 countries. For more information, please see
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