You are here:

News Briefs



AROUND THE WORLD

The International Bible Society (IBS), one of the world’s largest translators and distributors of scripture, and Send the Light (STL), one of the world’s largest distributors of Christian literature, have merged. The new organization, IBS-STL, has operations in the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Asia, Africa, Latin America and other parts of the world. It combines the core competencies of Bible translation, Bible and Christian book publishing and global distribution. “The blending of these organizations is a powerful combination,” said Keith Danby, CEO for the new organization. “It’s not often that two ministries can come together with the potential to have such far-reaching global impact for the cause of Christ and the Bible.” (International Bible Society)

Read Article >>


CHINA

Amity Bible printing press in China is planning to move to a new site. On a visit to Nanjing, China last fall, Daniel Willis, CEO of Bible Society NSW, inspected the new site for the Amity Printing Press. “At the moment, the site is just a vacant block of land with a few cattle grazing on it, but when the site is developed, it will mean millions more Bibles for China,” said Willis. The 86,671 square metre site is part of a new industrial development in Nanjing, a city of over six million people. Funding for the new development, expected to cost RMB 230,000,000, is coming from the United Bible Societies and the other joint venture partners. “Who would have thought that twenty years ago when the press first opened that we would be so successful that we would need to move to a new location?” Willis asked. “Over that twenty-year period, the press has printed fifty million Bibles and New Testaments with forty million Chinese language Bibles distributed in China…We are seeing an unprecedented opportunity for whole Bible distribution throughout China.” There are fifty-five thousand Bible distribution points spread throughout the country. (Bible Society NSW)

Read Article >>


CHINA

Using the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as a platform, a United States commission on religious freedom has called for increased international pressure on China to end its intolerance of religious expression. Felice Gaer, chairperson of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, asked the US Congress to give the subject of religious freedom the same priority as trade and security when dealing with China. (Ecumenical News International)

Read Article >>


GERMANY

Faced with a dwindling church membership and growing secularization, the mainline Protestant churches in Germany are launching one of the most radical reforms in recent history. The former “people’s church” in Martin Luther’s home country has suffered continuous losses since the 1970s. Today, the mainline Protestant churches have close to twenty-six million members. If nothing changes, this number will drop to seventeen million by 2030. Protestant leadership, including Bishop Wolfgang Huber, have proposed changes that include more missions, a greater focus on the Great Commission and the proclamation of the gospel taking top priority. The label “Protestant” must be filled with meaning and content, Huber said. (idea)

Read Article >>


INDIA

The International Bible Society pioneered the first prose literature ever written in the Awadhi language by completing the first Awadhi translation of the Bible. More than fifty native scholars in northern India worked for twelve years to accurately translate the language, style and theology of the complete Bible into a language spoken by more than twenty million people. More than 1,500 people gathered 17 December 2006 in Lucknow, India as Mayor Dinesh Sharma presented the first Awadhi translation of the Bible. “It is the translation by the people of Awadhi and for the people of Awadhi,” explained Michael Paul who coordinated the project. This IBS translation is the first Bible Awadhi speakers can read in their own language and the first piece of prose literature in the language, since for centuries the Awadhi language has been written only in poetic form. “Today, the Bible has become the text book for students of the Awadhi language in general,” Paul said. (International Bible Society)

Read Article >>


INDIA

Christian groups in India have lambasted the passage of an anti-conversion bill in northern Himachal Pradesh state, ruled by the secular India National Congress party, as pandering to a small minority of hardline Hindu nationalists. The ecumenical All India Christian Council (AICC) has appealed to the federal coalition government led by the Congress party to stop the enactment of the bill passed by the Himachal Pradesh legislature at the end of 2006. (Ecumenical News International)

Read Article >>


INDIA

Despite being a “secular democratic republic,” India is still “not a very safe place for its tiny Christian minority,” says a report released by a top official in the All India Christian Council (AICC). The Christian community faced at least one crime against it every third day during 2006, with a total of 128 cases recorded in the media, said the report compiled by John Dayal, general secretary of the council. “The figure may actually be much higher,” said Dayal in the introduction to his “Unofficial White Paper on Violence against Christians in India * 2006.” (Ecumenical News International)

Read Article >>


LATVIA

A locally-produced Children’s Bible has hit the market in a country where, until now, most Children’s Bibles have been translations from other languages. The Bible is the culmination of a project launched several years ago by the Latvian Bible Society. Having decided to publish a Children’s Bible featuring pictures painted by local children, the Bible Society launched a competition in autumn 2002 entitled My Favourite Bible Story. Nearly 650 children from a wide range of religious and ethnic backgrounds submitted paintings illustrating many different Bible stories, along with written comments about why their chosen story appealed to them. Some fifty paintings were selected to appear in the resulting full-color Children’s Bible. Bible texts were adapted for children and are accompanied by prayers and by questions to prompt further reflection. (United Bible Societies)

Read Article >>


SENEGAL

Operation Blessing International (OBI) recently built innovative micro-enterprise fish farms in Senegal. OBI hatched plans to help a local missionary build two more tilapia ponds, but this time with a twist: the side by side ponds will be fished not by nets, but by draining the ponds of their water. That water then goes to water nearby garden projects. The integration helps unify the community. The OBI team's project was aimed at demonstrating God's love by meeting physical and spiritual needs. (Mission Network News)

Read Article >>


UNITED KINGDOM

Plans to build the largest mosque outside of the Middle East are being made. The mega-mosque, which will be called the London Markaz, will be located on London’s east end. The land for the proposed mega-mosque now hosts a small make-shift mosque. The proposed building will be a 17-acre worship center for as many as seventy thousand Muslims and is set to be the hub of an Islamic quarter for the 2012 London Olympics. The mosque will dwarf many of Britain’s Christian cathedrals and will include an Islamic garden, a library and some residential accommodations. The group behind the project, Tablighi Jamaat, is thought to have ties to al-Qaeda and the project is being funded from sources in the Middle East. Although there is opposition to the project, London’s far-left mayor, Ken Livingstone, supports the proposal. (CBNNews)

Read Article >>


UNITED KINGDOM

The number of languages into which at least one complete book of the Bible has been translated reached 2,426 at the end of 2006, according to the United Bible Societies’ (UBS) 2006 Scripture Language Report. The report records each scripture translation carried out by UBS or another translation agency which is received at the library of either the American Bible Society or the British and Foreign Bible Society. Along with three new Bibles, the 2006 Scripture Language Report lists thirty-one new New Testaments, of which five are the first recorded scripture publications in those languages. Additional portions were registered for thirty-four languages which do not yet have either an Old or New Testament and for twenty-one languages which have the New Testament but not the Old Testament. In twenty-six other languages in which translation and publication had already taken place, new or revised versions of portions, Testaments or Bibles are now available. (United Bible Societies)

Read Article >>