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Persecution for those translating the Gospel in South Asia

ICC Note

Christians face persecution around the world, however in areas where the Gospel has not yet been translated, new believers face not only persecution in their faith, but also in trying to spread the Gospel.

Persecution faces those translating Scripture; God's Word transforms lives in the midst of it

Missionary Network News (02/13/06)

To read the full story, click here: Persecution for those translating the Bible in South Asia

South Asia (MNN) -- In a region of South Asia , The Seed Company's support and training of national translators have recently helped complete the New Testament in five key languages that were without Scripture in their own heart languages before now.

The Seed Company's Roy Peterson says, "This is a major breakthrough for millions of speakers of languages that have never had one verse of Scripture in their languages before, are having access now. And I sat down with each of the translation teams and listened to the stories of God's work and His faithfulness in their lives and how the church is now planted in each one of these five people groups."

Peterson is excited because discipleship and church growth is happening through people having the Bible in their own heart language. They're writing their own worship songs and are finally able to know God through their own language, rather than depending on other major languages.

And more are in the works, says Peterson, "Not only the five that were completing the New Testaments this year, but there were these other teams, a total of 50 translations going on. And one of the things I'd like your listeners to know, and this is really important, is that there's still over 180 languages in the region that still need to be translated and no one has even started them yet."

The Seed Company's dream and vision are to have a part in helping in all 180 languages, coming alongside with training and equipping technology for the nationals. In partnership with an indigenous mission association, they hope to see those 180 started over the next 10 years.

There is hostility toward the Gospel, Peterson says, and Christians face intense persecution. But God is working through the diligence of indigenous translators. "The enemy is just doing anything possible to stop translation from going forward, because translation changes lives. It makes the Word of God come alive for people. The church can be planted; discipleship can happen; the JESUS Film can be made, and recordings for radio can be made. So much can happen once translation is done."

Peterson's desire is to make people aware of the persecution and the spiritual battle taking place around Bible translation efforts. "There's 180 languages that we are praying that God would raise up mother-tongue translators and national translators from within the region. We are not going to send in Western or expatriate translators. All of the translation remaining to be done there will be done by indigenous believers, men and women, and so just praying that God would raise up people from those 180 languages, to see those get started."

"Even this week I received word of majority religion attacks against Christian believers in areas where we're working. And so there's a fair amount of hostility toward the Gospel, people are being forced to recant their Christian faith or lose everything, including their ability to live in the community that they're currently living in. It's kind of surprising. I don't think many of our listeners know today that there is such persecution going on in areas in South Asia ."

But translation continues, and God is working among His people to bring the light and hope of the Gospel to many.

If you would like to help The Seed Company with their translation efforts, contact them through their information listed below.

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ICC is constantly monitoring the state of Christian persecution in countries around the world and looking for ways that we can act as bridge between our supporters and the persecuted church. Beyond the projects you see above, we are working in many other areas to provide practical assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ. View our other projects page to understand more of our work and keep up to date on our current projects.