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Over 80 businesses that are involved with translating or distribution the Bible across the world are at risk of closing down due to loss of funding because of the COVID-19 crisis. A donation fund has been set up, with a goal of £5 million, to help maintain their goal of spreading the Word of God.
The Bible Society supplies funds for translations and distribution of Bibles and warns that 88 of their branches are facing a permanent shutdown. They will not be able to sell Bibles or fundraise in local churches. The money that is made selling the Bibles is reinvested in local translation work in minority languages, re-translations, or providing access to the Bible.
If the Bible Society branches shut down, the company warns that it could mean over 245 million people globally will no longer be able to easily access the Bible. This has an impact on socially on the people too because the Bibles often help people become literate. They also work with children who do not have access to education.
Oldi Morava, director of the international mission for the Bible Society in England, told Premier Christian News: “For many places, especially for those countries where Christianity is a minority, or for those very vulnerable countries, Bible Societies tend to be one of the few and only places where Christian communities can access the Bible. Whether that is because Bible Societies are probably one of the few agencies who are working towards a translation or maybe because they are the only legal entity in the country who have been given permission to distribute the Bible.”
“Around 1 billion people will not be receiving a new translation or a revision of a translation,” he concluded.
Organizations around the world are already helping to donate to help keep the program alive. The first countries to receive funding are Gambia, Sri Lanka, and Costa Rica.
Apart from financial giving, Morava explained how Christians can help.
“Every time someone opens the Bible, whether it is a physical Bible or a digital format, just spend 30 seconds and think about all the effort that has gone into translating that Bible, all the effort that has gone into producing it and all the effort that has gone into distributing, circulating and advocating for it. And as you think about all that work, I would ask everyone to spend a few seconds to pray for all the similar work that is going on around the world. I think that sense of praying and supporting each other as part of a global church is very significant during this time.”