Bible translators in Nigeria have been forced to suspend their translation projects due to coronavirus, economic collapse and terrorism.
Wycliffe Associates is the charity leading the translations. It currently has 30 projects in the African country where there are more than 500 languages spoken.
Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates said that Bible translators are experiencing difficulties first-hand.
“The government locked down the nation, and jobs—even meager wages—disappeared. In areas of serious poverty, national Bible translators and their families found themselves facing hardship and hunger, more painful than anything they had ever known.”
Terrorist attacks have killed more than 60 people, including a 45-year-old evangelical pastor, and several other Christians have been abducted.
"It has been a living nightmare for so many families," Smith said. "They’ve attacked Bible translators directly, too—burning workplaces and destroying equipment.”
Wycliffe Associates hopes to relocate the national translators to a safe location and provide them with the technology and equipment to restart and continue as many Bible translations as they can.
“In their world of danger and deprivation, [Nigerian Christians] cling to the Scriptures,” Smith said. “There is nothing else solid, no other place of comfort, of strength, of refuge.”
According to Wycliffe, there are more than 7,000 languages in the world.