They are fleeing from persecution, war, and famine. They arrive in strange lands far from home with nothing but the clothes on their back. They may have lost family members. They do not know the local language. They are exiles living in a foreign land!
Such is the plight of the world’s 80 million displaced people, including 26 million refugees.1
Just as Jesus came to heal the sick and to take care of the marginalised, we need to tend to those who are suffering the most during these difficult times.
That’s why we are inviting you to partner with us to support the work of the Bible Societies in Turkey, Malaysia and the Gulf States to bring Bibles to refugees and migrants.
Your gift will bring the peace, hope and comfort of the Bible message into their lives.
“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” — Exodus 22:21 (NIV)
Turkey, which is a 99% Muslim country, hosts more refugees than any other country in the world. This includes 3.6 million Syrian refugees and 320,000 refugees from other countries, such as Iraq, Iran, and Somalia.
Syrian refugees are housed in camps managed by a government agency. They receive basic assistance including food, shelter, education, and medical assistance. NGOs are not allowed to work in the camps and any contact the Bible Society of Turkey (BST) has with them is delicate as most of the refugees are non-Christian. However, it is providing some Scriptures and Christian literature in Arabic for them.
BST’s principal focus is on partnering with churches to provide Scriptures to Christian refugees. For example, the Armenian Church is looking after the spiritual and physical needs of Armenian refugees from Iraq. The Syriac, Chaldean, and Evangelical churches are also working with refugees of different nationalities.
Can you partner with us to support Bible mission in Turkey? Your support will enable BST to distribute 1,000 Bibles and 1,000 New Testaments in different languages to Christian refugees to bring new hope into their lives.
Special message from BST General Secretary
“As the descendent of an Armenian family, I grew up with the story of my people who were forced to leave their home and go to Syria where the people opened their homes and their hearts so that my family could start a new life. I now feel very responsible to do something for the Syrian refugees in Turkey. The most precious thing I have to share is the Word of God. This project is very special to me personally.” — Tamar, General Secretary, BST.
In the Gulf States, there are currently 23 million migrant workers from countries such as Nepal, India, the Philippines, and Bangladesh working in low-paid work such as the construction industry or as housemaids.
Migrant workers are often abused by their employers, underpaid and they live in labour camps. They often find themselves in impossible situations and faced with stark choices: abuse or jail, suicide, deportation, or poverty.
During the pandemic, the number of infections among migrant workers was high due to the living conditions in the congested camps. In Kuwait, the camps were completely ostracised after the government put all camps under total lockdown for four months, with barricades and under police control.
In the midst of all of this the Bible Society in the Gulf (BSG) has been continuing to partner with churches to bring the comfort and hope of God’s Word to workers who desperately need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Can you partner with us to support Bible mission in the Gulf States? Your support will enable BSG to distribute Bibles in 60 languages, along with 10,000 copies of a booklet entitled, Who is Jesus in nine languages including Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Tagalog, and Arabic.
Messages of thanks
“Thank you for giving us 2,000 copies of this booklet. We look forward to distributing them to our 15 prayer cells. Migrant workers have been immensely affected by the pandemic. Churches like ours are really struggling to cater to our members’ spiritual and emotional needs,” one church leader said.
Bible Society recently distributed free Tagalog Bibles to members of the Filipino Language Christian Church, most of whom usually work as either cleaners or housemaids. “We were all so very happy to receive a Bible. We are very poor people and most of us are unable to buy a Bible, especially at the present situation as many of us are jobless,” said Lyothi, a church member.
It also recently ran a training seminar and distributed Bibles at a church called Sharon Ministries. “I want to thank Bible Society for their support, help, and encouragement. The BSG is a blessing not only to me and my church but to all the Christians and churches in Kuwait,” said Prasad, its leader.
In Malaysia there are around 180,000 refugees, 86% of whom are from Myanmar, including members of the Rohingya and Chin ethnic groups.2
The remainder come from 50 different countries including Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Iraq. There are around 46,000 children who are under the age of 18, many of whom are without parents.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown have had a big impact on Malaysia’s refugees. Many businesses have closed, and many people have lost their jobs. The political instability in Myanmar is also contributing to increased mental and emotional stress for the refugees from Myanmar.
The Bible Society of Malaysia is partnering with churches and Christian refugee schools to bring Bibles to refugees and migrants, particularly children. With an increasing number of children needing to be hosted, the demand for Bibles and Christian literature by the refugee schools is increasing.
It is providing Scriptures and running Bible storytelling sessions at 12 refugee schools, including the Ruth Education Centre and the ElShaddai Refugee Learning Centre. The latter runs a school for children catering up to 1,000 children per day from 18 different countries.
Can you partner with us to support Bible mission in Malaysia? Your support will enable the Bible Society of Malaysia to distribute 2,500 Bibles, 5,000 New Testaments and 25,000 portions to individuals and children this year.
Can you help bring the hope of the Bible to refugees and migrants?
In Turkey, your gift could provide a Bible for a Christian refugee. In the Gulf States, your gift could provide a Bible for a migrant worker. In Malaysia, your gift could provide a Bible to a child in a refugee school.
Just use your preferred giving option below to help bring bring the peace, hope and comfort of the Bible message into their life.
If you’d like to make a bank transfer to Bible Society, our account number is 03 0558 0245656 02.
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1 UNHCR 30 June 2020