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Christian publisher raising funds to distribute one million Bibles in global south

The Christian publishing ministry Crossway and its partners have an ambitious goal to distribute one million Bibles in the global south

“If we care about the future of the church — the future of the church is in Africa, because the next generation of the church is going to be there — then we ought to help them by providing Bibles, study Bibles and sound doctrine,” said Karen Elliott, executive director of the Rafiki Foundation, according to Faithwire. “We should flood the continent with God’s Word.”

The Rafiki Foundation is a faith-based nonprofit in Africa and is one of the organizations partnering with Crossway to reach its distribution goal. Crossway said its goal is to raise $500,000 by June 30 to give Bibles to 100,000 children who otherwise might not have access to scripture. This follows the successful completion of the first phase of the project in December, after the publishing house raised more than $500,000 and began giving away more than 100,000 copies of God’s word.

According to data compiled by the Pew Research Center, Christianity is spreading rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa. As of 2018, more than 75 percent of every country surveyed on the continent described faith as very important to them. At the time, Pew analyzed 84 countries with large Christian populations, and in 35 of those nations, at least two-thirds of all self-described Christians said religion was very important to their lives. All but three of those countries were in Latin America or sub-Saharan Africa (the three outliers were the United States, the Philippines and Malaysia).

Research published around the same time found Africa to be home to the greatest number of Christians. As of 2020, Statista reported some 650 million Christians on the continent, a number expected to surpass one billion by 2050. Data also shows that in the next 20 years, 50 percent of all births in the world will take place in Africa.

By contrast, in North Africa, Islam is overwhelmingly prevalent. For example, more than 90 percent of the populations of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya adhere to the Muslim faith.

All of this comes as the persecution of Christians in Africa is on the rise. According to Open Doors US, one in five Christians on the continent are persecuted for their faith. The persecution watchdog found that 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa face “high levels of persecution” and half of those have violence scores in the “extremely high” category. Five of the top 10 countries where Christians face violent persecution are in Africa.

–Dwight Widaman  | Metro Voice

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