Brutal attack on five men who were translating the Bible into eight languages, left four dead. Organization vows to continue their work.
Middle East (WAS/MNN) — Bible translation in Muslim-dominant areas is risky. Mix that occupation with animosity aimed at Muslim-Background Believers and what you get is a volatile and often explosive reaction.
That’s proven true for Wycliffe Associates. President/Chief Executive Officer Bruce Smith confirms the deaths of four national translators (first generation Christians) recently in a Middle Eastern country, unnamed for security reasons.
“Radical militants came into the workplace where five men were working, and the militants came in and killed two men very quickly. As they ran out of ammunition, they then began beating the others that had survived.” Two other workers laid on top of the lead translator, saving his life. They died deflecting bludgeoning blows from the radicals’ spent weapons.
During the attack, the gunmen destroyed all the equipment in the office including the Print On Demand (POD) equipment. They burned all the books and other translation materials in the office. Smith adds, “By God’s grace, the digital copies of the translations that were underway in about 8 languages were protected. They were backed up, and the work can continue.”
In their press release, the organization stated they are looking to replace the lost equipment and find a new location that will be safe and secure where they can continue the Bible translation project.
Wycliffe Associates has supported the worldwide efforts of Bible translation since 1967.
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