Help bring Bibles to refugees, migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons

Read the PDF version here.

Around the world, Bible Societies are working in their own countries reaching out to vulnerable people to give them access to the precious Word of God. This includes the Bible Society in the Gulf reaching migrant workers, the Bible Society of Malaysia distributing Scriptures to refugee children, and the Bible Society of Nigeria assisting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Although the situation in each country is unique, these groups bear many of the same hallmarks, including persecution, conflict, human rights violations, and exploitation.

According to the United Nations, in mid-2021 there were 84 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. Of these 26.6 million are refugees and forty-eight million are internally displaced people. Out of the refugees, 68 percent originate from just five countries!1

Another significant group is economic migrants. Globally, there are currently around 281 million people living and working in a country other than their country of citizenship.2

We invite you to join with us in helping bring these vulnerable people in Kuwait, Malaysia and Nigeria the Word of God.

  • In Kuwait, your gift will help to train church leaders and provide Bibles.

  • In Malaysia it will help to provide Bibles, New Testaments, and portions for refugee children in Christian schools.

  • In Nigeria, it will enable the distribution of Bibles, notebooks, and school bags to IDPs in camps.

Your gift will bring the light of hope and comfort of the Bible message into their lives.

Gulf States – Kuwait

“Who is Jesus Christ?” Booklet Distribution
Pastor James Racharla (left) of the Anglican Church in Sharjah with migrant workers at a labour camp.

Kuwait became a hotspot of economic development after the discovery of oil in the 1930s. Economic migration to Kuwait and the surrounding Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) began in the latter half of the 20th century and continued unabated into the 21st century. Today, 70 percent of Kuwait’s population of 4.4 million is made up of migrant workers from over one hundred countries!

Life for these workers is tough! They live in labour camps and are exploited by their employers. With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic all of this has become much worse. There have been many infections and deaths in the camps. The lockdowns and loss of work have meant that many are not earning their daily wages. Many are suffering from depression and there has been a staggering increase in the number of suicides.

“Committed to pooling our expertise and experience to support the Church and faced with the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, we developed new strategies to address these challenges. Responding swiftly to the spiritual wellbeing of migrant communities in the labour camps, while preventing the escalation of suicide cases and depression was critical,” says Dr Hrayr Jebejian, General Secretary of The Bible Society in the Gulf.

Many migrant church leaders are from non-Christian backgrounds, and they often lack training in the basics of Christianity. The churches are poor and are unable to pay for training. Therefore, Bible Society organises seminars for them on topics such as, “Christian Leadership: How to Lead as Jesus Led.”

This year, Bible Society will train more than one hundred church leaders, which will enable them to reach out to migrant workers to bring them comfort and hope. It will also distribute Bibles in Amharic, Nepali, Tagalog, and Sinhala.

Read a testimony from Kuwait

Take the case of Sharon Ministries, for example, which is a church for Telugu-speaking migrants where 100 percent of its members are from a non-Christian background. It was established by Pastor Prasad, who came to Kuwait as a migrant worker from India. After finding a job in Wafra, near the Saudi Border, Prasad joined in Bible study sessions being run by Christian farmers. The lives of the farmers, although poor and simple, bore such a joyful witness to Christ that he became a Christian, too!

Bible Society supports Sharon Ministries by providing training seminars and Scriptures for its outreach ministry. Recently, Bible Society conducted a seminar for them on, “Why believe in the power of prayer?” which was attended by more than 120 participants. “The seminar is one of the best seminars in recent times and came on time as we are passing through tough times, and there is a big need to pray to God,” said Bunny, a participant.

“We are very grateful for the support provided by the Bible Society in the Gulf in terms of training seminars and Scriptures for our outreach ministry where we reach Indian migrant labourers and housemaids,” said Pastor Prasad.

In Kuwait, your gift will help to train church leaders and provide Bibles.

Malaysia

Malaysia Bible Mission
Pharmacists providing basic supplies to refugees.

Like Kuwait, Malaysia has many migrant workers who make up about 23 percent of the population. But it also hosts 179,830 refugees and asylum-seekers from many different countries. Of these, 86 percent are from Myanmar. The remaining refugees are from countries such as Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Iraq. Around 25 percent are children under the age of eighteen many of whom arrive in the country without parents or siblings.

Unfortunately, children who are registered as refugees are not able to access the formal education system, but a parallel system has developed whereby they are educated in informal learning centres run by Christian organisations and NGOs.

The Bible Society of Malaysia is partnering with fourteen of these schools, including the Ruth Education Centre, the Hilla Centre, and the El Shaddai Learning Centre. This year, it aims to provide children with 2,000 Bibles, 5,000 New Testaments, and 25,000 portions.

And the need has never been greater than now! The devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that many more people are open to hearing the Word of God. During lockdown Bible Society distributed more Bibles in more languages, including English and Malay, than ever before! Refugees are asking for Bibles, and Bible Society ministry partners have never been busier.

For example, the El Shaddai Learning Centre has been providing emotional and financial support to families who have been directly impacted by the pandemic, including distributing food and basic supplies to forty families. This has included helping families cope with serious situations surrounding grief and loss, such as when a student’s mother passed away from Covid-19 after a week in a coma.

In Malaysia, you gift will help to provide Bibles, New Testaments, and portions for refugee children in Christian schools.

Nigeria

The Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN) is reaching out to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are living in camps with Bibles, notebooks, school bags, clothing, and food. It is also providing mini Bible-based Trauma Healing sessions to give them hope that God has not abandoned them during these difficult times.

It recently visited the Uhuogua Forest Internally Displaced Camp (IDC) in Edo State, where over 3,000 IDPs live, including many children – watch the video below to witness the impact of this visit.



The camp is just one of many that provide a home to Nigeria’s three million IDPs, a number which has increased by one million in the past year. There are many drivers of this displacement, which include inter-ethnic conflict, floods, fires, and other types of disasters.

The conditions in the camps mean that the IDPs lack adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical aid, all of which has been made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As well, there are security issues inside the camps because the groups who originally attacked them have now figured out how to attack them within the boundaries of the camps.

However, the annual Bible Society visit to the Uhuogua Forest IDC was a happy occasion. The visit was led by one of the representatives of BSN. “In this camp our needs are enormous. We need food and books for the children. Thank God for the Bible Society of Nigeria,” said representative Mrs Evelyn Esigbe.

After receiving the Bibles and school bags many of the recipients expressed their grateful thanks. “I have been praying for a copy of my own Bible and God answered my prayer the day Bible Society visited us. It is my constant companion, and my life has changed so much,” one recipient said.

“I have been carrying my books to school in my hands because I had no bag. I am excited that I now have a school bag,” said Nancy. “I am very happy with the bags and notebooks given to me. All I can say is thank you,” said Albert.

In Nigeria, your gift will enable the distribution of Bibles, notebooks, and school bags to IDPs in camps.

The Bible Societies in the Gulf States, Malaysia, and Nigeria are working to bring the Bible message to migrant workers, refugees and IDPs and are aspiring to end Bible poverty in their own countries. They have well-devised strategies, but there are many new and existing challenges they must contend with, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

We invite you to join with us in supporting these Bible Societies to help bring these vulnerable people the Word of God.

  • In Kuwait, your gift will help to train church leaders and provide Bibles.

  • In Malaysia it will help to provide Bibles, New Testaments, and portions for refugee children in Christian schools.

  • In Nigeria, it will enable the distribution of Bibles, notebooks, and school bags to IDPs in camps.

Just use your preferred giving option below to help bring the hope and comfort of the Bible message into their life.


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1https://www.unchr.org/refugee-statistics

2www.un.org.development.desa.pd/files/undesa_pd_2020_international_migration_highlights.pdf