One-fifth of the world’s Muslim population lives in the Middle East North Africa region, according to the Pew Research Center, and researchers expect that number to rise by 2030. Islam may have a stronghold as the MENA region’s majority religion, but significant change is underway.
“People who are passionate Muslims, some to the point of being radicals, are now transformed; Christ has transformed them,” unfoldingWord’s David Reeves says of church leaders from a Muslim background.
“That same zeal and passion, like the Apostle Paul, is now emerging in their passion for their language communities.”
As described here, these new believers want to translate God’s Word into their heart language. However, most translation tools are in English. By putting tools into a “trade language,” unfoldingWord makes them accessible to Christians throughout the MENA region.
For example, “If you’re translating John and you’re in chapter one, and you’re getting into these big ideas that are really confusing, there’s all these exegetical notes that would help explain it in Arabic,” Reeves says.
Why are translation tools important?
Without access to God’s Word in a language they understand, believers struggle to grow and mature in Christ. unfoldingWord partners closely with church networks to provide Bible translation tools and training. Learn more here.
Their approach differs slightly depending on each community’s need. “[In] some places, we’re starting with brand new believers who, six months ago, were imams and now they love Jesus. We’re dealing with Open Bible Stories in that context,” Reeves says.
“Two to three years down the road, we’ll be moving from select Scriptures to translating the books of the Bible.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth
CALL TO ACTION
- Praise God for many Saul-to-Paul conversions taking place throughout the Muslim world! Pray for more resources and capacity so these believers can translate God’s Word into their heart language.