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08 March 2011

Press release

West African nation with 66 languages set for new translation

West African nation with 66 languages set for new translation

Like most mothers, Agratou enjoys reading bedtime stories to her children. Agratou's ultimate dream is to see her children read stories from the Bible for themselves. But this isn't so easy when you live in a country where there are no translations of the Good Book in your native tongue. 

That's because Argatou lives in Burkina Faso, the world's third poorest nation according to the United Nations. But it is also Bible poor. Out of the West African nation's staggering 66 languages, there are only seven different language translations of the New Testament. The rest have nothing. In a largely Muslim and animist nation this has made spreading the gospel difficult. 

Argatou says: "Often I don't read the Bible because it's just too difficult. Every time I read scripture to my children, I have to translate it so that they can understand. It's been hard. I'm really in a hurry for the Bissa Barka New Testament to arrive."

As part of the 400th anniversary of the King James authorised version, Wycliffe Bible Translators and Bible Society are working together with local people to translate the Old Testament into the Bissa Lebir language and the New Testament into the neighbouring language, Bissa Barka. Both are spoken widely in rural Burkina Faso. This would ultimately bring the life-changing message of God's love to more than 580,000 people.

Now is your chance to help make a difference to the lives of people such as Agratou by giving £1 for every Bible you own.  Just £30 will translate a short passage, such as the parable of the sower, while £70 will pay for an account of Jesus' feeding of the 5,000 and £200 will see the creation account of Genesis re-told. The project is being coordinated by Biblefresh, a year-long project by the Evangelical Alliance that has brought together more than a hundred agencies to support churches in their effort to better understand scripture.

Krish Kandiah, of the Alliance, says: "At home I have more Bibles than I know what to do with. Yet the Bisa people have none, and are hungry for God's Word in their own language. In the year of the Bible, it would be fantastic to pass on to the Bisa people the privileges we have taken for granted."

To donate, log onto http://www.biblefresh.com/resources/translation/donate/

Media Enquiries

Danny Webster
Tel: 07766 444 650
Email: d.webster@eauk.org

Notes to Editors

The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.