Bible Translators Facing 'Spiritual Warfare'; Reports of Oppression Received 'Every Week'

An oil on canvas painting titled 'Archangel Michael Hurls the Rebellious Angels into the Abyss' shows St. Michael defeating Lucifer's army, a common image of spiritual warfare. It was done by Luca Giordano (1632–1705) sometime in 1666.(Wikipedia)

Just like in ancient times, spiritual warfare is raging in the world today, and is currently targeting the people tasked with translating the Word of God among others.

The statement came from Bruce Smith, the president and CEO of the Florida-based Wycliffe Associates, who revealed the mounting cases of oppression victimising Bible translators, The Christian Post reported.

"We are getting new reports of oppression literally every week," Smith said in a statement. "Spiritual warfare has become the 'new normal' for many national Bible translators."

Spiritual warfare is the conflict when the kingdom of Satan wages war on the kingdom of God for the souls of humanity (I Peter 5:8-9), according to Truthnet.

Smith expressed surprise at the ongoing spiritual warfare in the world today.

"When I was growing up in suburban Chicago, my church didn't deal with anything called 'spiritual warfare," he said. "For a long time, I thought this kind of activity belonged to a long-ago era. To me, it was ancient history. But I have seen too much, with my own eyes, not to believe that spiritual warfare is happening today."

He cited proof of this warfare, including reports of Bible translators falling ill, often without explanation, translators being arrested and thrown in jail, some cruelly tortured, translators being assaulted and murdered, and translators' family members experiencing sudden problems that kept the translators from their work.

He said one translator died in her sleep after the first day of a translation workshop.

Wycliffe Associates said the most severe and brutal attacks on Bible translators are occurring in areas where Christianity is fiercely opposed. The international Bible translation organisation didn't disclose the locations of the persecuted translators due to safety concerns.

Wycliffe started a project last year to translate the Bible in 314 languages in 76 countries using the expertise of mother-tongue Bible translators.

Smith's account of an ongoing spiritual warfare came after Dr. Vernon Brewer, president and founder of the Christian humanitarian organisation World Help, warned of an intensification of Christian persecution.

"At no other time in history have Christians been as persecuted as they are now. Some estimate more Christians have been martyred for their faith in the past century than in the previous 19 combined, and persecution in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia seems to be on the rise," Brewer said in a statement he issued last month.