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The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC), in a joint initiative with the American Bible Society (ABS) and International Christian Concern (ICC), has successfully delivered hundreds of Arabic-Language Bibles to the Middle East.
The Bibles were distributed to young adults in many war-torn countries who had not had previous exposure or access to the Christain religion. However, it also gives the Christains who have already been practicing their religion in secrecy due to fear of retribution the first look at the holy script.
Andrew Veniopoulos, Vice-Chairman of OPAC, stated, “OPAC is proud to work with such dependable partners like the American Bible Society and International Christian Concern in order to help fellow Christians around the globe. We feel a particular responsibility to help our brothers and sisters in places with large Eastern Orthodox populations, and with the support of ABS and ICC, we were able to share these spiritual resources with the faithful half a world away.”
American Bible Society President and CEO Robert L. Briggs also put out a statement, “At the American Bible Society, our mission is to share God’s Word where it’s needed most.” He continued, “We’ve been heartbroken by our brothers and sisters’ reports of ongoing conflict and trauma in the Middle East and are compelled to bring the hope and healing of the Bible to those who are suffering. It’s an honor to partner with organizations like the Orthodox Public Affairs Committee and our partners in war-torn areas to support Orthodox Christians in their time of distress.”
Claire Evans, the Regional Manager of ICC stated, “So often, we were told by recipients that ‘this is a real treasure,’ a sentiment speaking to the Bible as a source of nourishment and strength. Though the Bible is God’s Word put into human hands, war had kept it inaccessible for many. An entire generation of youth had reached adulthood without holding Scripture, and they were hungry for it. We are happy to have partnered together to facilitate making the Scriptures accessible for young adults, and we are looking forward to the further development of programming that helps these young Christians pursue faith formation. We are so encouraged by their eagerness, and I am excited for our continued partnership that supports Christians living in such challenging conditions.”
The goal of the initiative is to help those who must secretly live as Christains in their predominantly Muslim countries and have never had access to the scripts and teachings of Christianity.
In addition, many young adults in these countries have never been exposed to anything besides Islam, so this initiative is delivering these Bibles in attempts to show them a new religion and its beliefs.
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