International Update Fall/Winter 2013

Brazil: Millions Participate in World Youth Day; Suriname and Guyana: Bible World Reaches Thousands

Participate in World Youth Day

American Bible Society distributed 250,000 Scripture Portions at World Youth Day in partnership with the Bible Society of Brazil, the Colombian Bible Society and CELAM, a council of Roman Catholic bishops in Latin America. The event, located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, drew millions of youth who came to rededicate themselves to the work of Christ. Over the course of five days, ABS staff and volunteers had more than 15,000 conversations with youth interested in engaging in Scripture through programs such as Lectionautas, an interactive, online weekly program for prayerfully reading Scripture. ABS also hosted a partnership dinner with Catholic bishops from more than 60 dioceses in the United States to discuss increasing Bible engagement within the Catholic Church.

Suriname and Guyana: Bible World Reaches Thousands

In the last seven years, the Suriname Bible Society (SBS) has reached nearly 26,000 children through Bible World, an interactive center for children to explore Bible history. Now, with support from American Bible Society, SBS is preparing to expand the program to neighboring Guyana.

Both Suriname and Guyana contain religiously and ethnically diverse populations. Through interactive displays, videos and presentations, Bible World draws together school children from many different backgrounds to experience the Bible and its message.

China: Bibles Engage Children

More than 239 million children in China are under age 15. But for churches in China, overcrowded buildings and growing congregations are often a reality that makes it difficult to engage children and young adults.

That’s why American Bible Society is teaming up with UBS China Partnership to help churches in China provide children’s Bible stories, Bible comic books and Scripture materials. Together, with leadership from key adults, these materials will help the next generation of Chinese Christians engage with Scripture. Currently, churches need more Bible-based materials to reach children and youth in China.

Malawi: Youth Take Scripture to Heart

Although 77 percent of Malawians self-identify as Christian, many children are unprepared to engage with God’s Word. The Bible Society of Malawi, with support from American Bible Society, sponsored the National Scripture Recital Extravaganza, which engaged an estimated 13,000 youth on local and national levels. Parents, Sunday school teachers and church leaders train youth to memorize Scripture and compete across the country. The contest reached a large audience when it was broadcast on national radio and television stations.

Bangladesh: Bibles for Christian Youth

In Bangladesh, many children who have grown up with a Christian background do not have the resources to buy a Bible of their own. As a result, they grow up without learning to value God’s Word. That’s why the Bangladesh Bible Society, with support from American Bible Society, is organizing one-day Bible seminars that will help youth access God’s Word and interact with it on a deep level.

Slovenia: New Translation for a Nation

Youth and Slovenians from non-Christian backgrounds often struggle to understand Scripture’s mesage in the current, elevated Slovenian Bible translation. However, since Slovenia was officially an atheist country until 1990, it is imperative that the next generation of Slovenians has an opportunity to grasp the life-changing message found in God’s Word.

That is why the Slovenian Bible Society, with support from American Bible Society, has begun a new, contemporary translation of the new Testament into Slovenian, called Life With Jesus. The translation will specifically target youth and people who do not come from church backgrounds. The Slovenian Bible Society will also conduct workshops using the new translation and provide electronic editions of the text.

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

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