Persecuted Christians unable to access the Bible could soon be able to print their own with a new program facilitated by Wycliffe Associates.
Digital printing systems provided by the US-based organisation will allow those in countries hostile to Christianity to publish the text in their own language. They will be given a computer, printer, binder, laminator and paper cutter, and trained to operate the system set up in a safe house.
It could be life-changing for those struggling to live out their faith, said Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates.
"Christians are persecuted, arrested, hunted down, and may lose their lives for translating the Bible. Wycliffe Associates provides the most effective technology and equipment to empower national translators in this life-changing work – especially when it means keeping translators safe in the most dangerous areas imaginable."
The program aims to create ways by which the Bible can be hand-carried and distributed discreetly. "Even in a hostile nation where it is life-threatening to follow Christ, Print On Demand will allow Bible printing and distribution to proceed," Smith explained.
"A group of believers secretly meeting in a closed country are already asking us for one of these systems. I am deeply committed to helping national believers share God's Word, while doing everything we can to protect them. Now, withPrint On Demand, God's Word is available in increasing measures."
The system has already been installed in a community in West Africa, Smith added, and hundreds of copies of Hosea, Amos, Haggai and the Gospel of Luke have been printed in a newly translated language.
Wycliffe Associates is hoping to raise $225,000 to provide 15 systems. "Right now, we have the opportunity to provide a remarkable resource for printing and distributing God's Word," Smith said.