Vietnam’s ethnic minorities long for the Bible

Many of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups are marginalised and at the bottom of the rung economically and in terms of literacy rates.

Yet, it’s among these marginalised groups that Christianity has often taken a hold. This is why the Vietnam Bible Society is undertaking the critical task of translating the Bible into their various heart languages.

Hmong women in a rural village in Laos.

The Hmong

The Hmong people live in Vietnam’s northern highlands.  In the 1980s, the Hmong stumbled across a Hmong-language Christian radio programme being broadcast from Manila.  Soon, Christianity spread like wildfire through the Hmong population. Today, 300,000 out of the one million Hmong living in Vietnam is Christian. continue reading →


United Bible Societies launches new Romani Bible app

After a long digitisation project, United Bible Society (UBS) has just launched a brand new mobile app for Romani speakers.

Members of the Romani church in Leskovac, Serbia, with copies of the Gospel of Mark in Romani received from the Bible Society of Serbia on April 17, 2011.

The app contains 21 historic and current Romani Scriptures in Latin script, with Cyrillic texts coming soon.  The earliest Romani Scripture in the app is from 1837 in Calo of Spain/Portugal. The app also includes some audio versions.

The versions are in different forms of Romani such as Calo, Lavari, Kalderash, Vlax and Sinti from England, France, Iberia (Spain-Portugal), Germany, the Baltic region, Scandinavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy and former Yugoslavia… and even one from Chile. continue reading →


Project update – Domestic violence prevention in Guatemala

Yes! There is a solution to domestic violence in Guatemala.

Thanks to the generosity of Bible Society New Zealand’s Bible a Month Club supporters, we have been able to support a life-changing domestic violence prevention programme in Guatemala, a country with very high rates of domestic violence.

During the first six months of 2019, 602 families and 1,021 children participated in three workshops on the prevention of child abuse. These workshops are built on biblical principles and values. Eleven schools and churches located in vulnerable areas have also opened their doors for the project. The most amazing result from this has been the interest in the Bible shown by children. Many have formed reading clubs and some teachers are including the Bible in their classes as a reading text. continue reading →


Australian Bible historian to give lecture in Wellington

Respected Australian historian, author and broadcaster Meredith Lake is visiting Wellington

Public lecture: Race and the Bible Down Under

The Bible arrived down under at a time when Europeans were rethinking both Scripture and race. From land-hungry colonists to Indigenous evangelists, white supremacists to anti-racism activists – people across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand have read it very differently, with nothing less than humanity at stake.

This lecture will explore how the Bible has been taken up down under, to contest what it means to be human and to cross cultural boundaries – and what we might learn from that today. continue reading →


First meal on the moon: Buzz Aldrin’s moon communion

Almost everyone knows Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first people to stand on the moon. Almost everyone knows what Armstrong said: ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’

But how many know what Buzz Aldrin did before they stepped out on to the moon’s surface?

Buzz Aldrin

Aldrin was an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas. Before the flight he had wondered about how to mark the landing. He wrote in an article for Guideposts magazine in 1970 that his pastor Dean Woodruff had told him ‘God reveals himself in the common elements of everyday life’ – like bread and wine. Woodruff gave him a silver chalice to take with him on the flight, and there was just enough gravity for him to be able to pour the wine from a plastic container. continue reading →


Major milestone achieved in first ever Tokelau Bible translation

On Wednesday, after 23 years and one month of work, head translator Ioane Teao and Bible Society Translations Director Dr Stephen Pattemore performed the final check of the final verse of the brand-new Tokelau Bible translation.

“We’re very pleased we’ve come to this part of the project! Yes, we had some fun – we celebrated with some sandwiches, a date scone and some bananas and oranges,” Ioane said.

Ioane Teao (left) and Dr Stephen Pattemore checking the Tokelau translation using the Paratext Bible translation software tool.

The project, which has been a joint effort of all Tokelau churches and community groups, had its genesis nearly 30 years ago. Ioane and others consulted with the wider Tokelauan community for six years before the project could officially start. Ioane was the secretary of the team trying to get the project off the ground and support whoever would do the job. To Ioane’s surprise, it was he who would be asked to spend more than 23 years of his life working on the translation. continue reading →


305 million Bibles for the world this decade

In 2018, for the second year running, Bible Societies distributed more than 38 million full Bibles around the globe.

In China, Ma Wen, 90, has been a Christian for 25 years but received her very first Bible in 2018.

Annual Bible distribution has been growing steadily since the turn of the decade, reflecting the ongoing demand for Scripture as well as the tremendous commitment of Bible Societies to put God’s Word into the hands of everyone who wants it. Since 2010, United Bible Societies (UBS) has provided more than 305 million full Bibles to the world.

In 2018, 17% of all full Bibles were internet downloads – and for global languages such as Spanish, English and Portuguese, Scripture downloads all topped a million.

More New Testaments were distributed in 2018 than at any other point this decade. Almost 15 million print copies were provided, mostly in Asia where Christianity is considered a minority religion. continue reading →


The Bible is bringing hope to South East Asian Christians

The Philippines, Malaysia and Cambodia all have in one thing in common. They all have a desperate need for the Bible and the hope it brings.

In Cambodia, it’s an urgent need for help with growing literacy rates so people can read the Bible. In Malaysia, where floods of migrants and refugees wait, it’s providing the hope that the Bible brings. And in the Philippines, it’s Scripture access for the 2.2 million visually impaired people.

Cambodia – learning through listening

Literacy is key to the growth of the Christian church in Cambodia. It enables people to have access to the Word of God and move from darkness into light. Cambodia’s education system is underfunded and many of the teachers, particularly those in rural areas, are so lowly paid they have to take multiple jobs just to survive. continue reading →


Bible Society launches new small group resource

Whether your group meets at a café, club, church or in your home, Bible Society has just launched a brilliant new small group Bible resource that is perfect for digging deeper into the Bible with your friends.

It’s called LYFE, and is designed to help groups connect the ancient writings of Scripture to life in 21st century New Zealand.

Lyfe video guest Scottie Reeve

LYFE is a 36 session Bible study resource based around six key spiritual formation themes including prayer, justice and the Holy Spirit. Each study features a short video of a New Zealand Christian leader sharing their thoughts on the topic. Some of the video guests include Auckland pastor Tak Bhana, musician and worship leader Cindy Ruakere and Wellington social entrepreneur and Anglican Priest Scottie Reeve. continue reading →


Bespoke Bibles for New Zealand’s Army, Airforce and Navy

Bible Society New Zealand has just given 5,000 specially designed Bibles to the chaplaincy service of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

Chaplain Di Woods with 2019 Airforce Bible

For the first time ever, the Bibles were individually tailored to members of New Zealand’s Airforce, Navy and Army. Each of the three different editions of the NZDF Bible includes messages from the Governor General and the Principal Defence Force Chaplain Ants Hawes, along with NZDF photographs, the National Anthem and the relevant prayer for each of the Forces.

The majority of the Bibles will be given to new NZDF recruits who can choose to attest on the Bible at their swearing in ceremony. “They are then asked if they would like to keep the Bible,” Ants Hawes says. continue reading →