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World News

‘People want to be close to God’: Bible Society sees demand for Bibles in Ukraine double since Russia’s invasion

by Kelly Valencia

According to the Bible Society, the demand for Bibles in Ukraine has more than doubled since Russia invaded the country in February.

In the first nine months of this year, more than 359,000 Bibles were given out - over two and a half times more than the 136,767 distributed in 2020.

Hazel Southam, from the Bible Society, told Premier they were surprised with the demand.

“What our colleagues in Ukraine expected was that people will be blaming God for what was happening, but what they're encountering as they travel around the country, is that people want to be close to God and that's led to the demand for Bibles.

“They say time and time again to us that because people live so close to death all of the time it's causing them to ask existential questions about life and that's leading to people seeking to read the Bible, often for the first time.”

Many of the Bibles distributed were donated by Christians in the UK.

The Bible Society in Ukraine not only gives Bibles out but also help deliver food and medicines.

Southam continued: “[Bible Society workers] They've spent the year traveling the country often driving zig-zagging down roads full of landmines, driving into cities that are virtually destroyed, places that have been shelled, taking with them a variety of things that they think people will need.

“So they take bread, and basic medicines in one hand, and then they have Bibles as well. They offer the bread and the medicines first but there's always a queue for Bibles."

It is estimated nearly seven million people are currently forcibly displaced inside the country while there are nearly six million who have crossed international borders, according to the UN.

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