ORLANDO, FL — Wycliffe Associates, an international organization that empowers mother-tongue Bible translators and partners with local churches in the advancement of Bible translation, reports that Nigerian Bible translators are asking for help after suspending Bible translation projects in 30 languages.
The global pandemic, terrorism, and economic collapse have brought Bible translation to a halt in the most populous nation on the African continent, where more than 500 languages are spoken. Mother-tongue Bible translators in Nigeria were working to start 30 language projects before they had to stop.
“This year, as COVID-19 ravaged Nigeria, they have suffered in tragic new ways,” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “The government locked down the nation, and jobs—even meager wages—disappeared. In areas of serious poverty, national Bible translators and their families found themselves facing hardship and hunger, more painful than anything they had ever known.”
Terrorism has added to their suffering, as jihadist Fulani herdsmen have been carrying out rampages against Christians. In a single month, they killed 18 people in Miango and 25 people in Kajuru. On September 6, 2020, they attacked two communities in southern Kaduna state, killing a 45-year-old evangelical pastor and two other men. They also abducted seven others.
“It has been a living nightmare for so many families, as agents of evil have abducted more than 1,000 children in recent years,” says Smith. “They’ve attacked Bible translators directly, too—burning workplaces and destroying equipment.”
Wycliffe Associates hopes to relocate the national translators to a safe location and also provide them with the technology and equipment to restart and continue as many Bible translations as they can. This includes computer tablets loaded with Bible translation software to aid in virtual collaboration.
“In their world of danger and deprivation, [Nigerian Christians] cling to the Scriptures,” says Smith. “There is nothing else solid, no other place of comfort, of strength, of refuge.”
Wycliffe Associates currently facilitates 796 Bible translation projects 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 108 countries. For more information, please see www.wycliffeassociates.org.