What comes to mind when you picture a desert? Perhaps your mind’s eye sees endless miles of white sand and rolling dunes. Or perhaps you imagine such extreme thirst and heat that you can feel your throat going dry.
Just as real deserts stretch across hundreds of miles, Bible deserts remain prevalent around the world. These spiritual dry lands are places where the Bible is illegal or not readily available.
Believe it or not, there are still people who haven’t heard the gospel or don’t have access to a copy of the Scriptures. After all, most of us have one, two or even three Bibles at home. But these spiritual deserts still exist, and as Christians we have a mission to bring Living Water to them.
Below are a few facts about Bible deserts:
Who lives in a Bible desert?
Often, those in Bible deserts are people who live on the margins of life. Here are a few examples:
- David lives in Burundi where a Bible would cost his entire month’s salary. He can’t afford a copy of God’s Word, so he borrows a Bible from a friend to hand-copy verses.
- Li lives in rural China where many people have never even seen a Bible. “There are no Bibles on sale in any bookstore in the city where I live,” he said. “Even one Bible for our family will be the best gift for us.”
- Mee-Yon was thrown into a North Korea labor camp simply for owning a Bible. She was interrogated for hours and beaten. But despite the great risk, she and other leaders of the underground church in North Korea continue to ask for more Bibles.
These are just a few examples of people living in Bible deserts. Their neighbors, family, and friends are going through similar hardships but haven’t been lucky enough to receive a Bible yet.
Why are there Bible deserts?
Here are three leading factors:
- Religious persecution: Christians often suffer persecution in countries where they are in the religious minority. Sometimes this persecution even comes from neighbors and family members. In North Korea and China, getting caught with a Bible can raise the government’s suspicion and lead to serious punishment. For these reasons, it’s extremely difficult for persecuted Christians to purchase a Bible without endangering themselves and their loved ones.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Kelsey Campbell