The very first full Bible in Chadian Arabic – the lingua franca used by more than 60 per cent of the population of Chad – has been launched, just a few weeks after the country’s president was killed.
The Bible was warmly welcomed by religious leaders, government representatives and ordinary Christians who said they hoped it would help to bring peace to the strife-torn country in north-central Africa.
The translation of the Bible was made possible by the kind giving of Bible Society supporters.
Government representative Dinar Oumar, who attended a launch ceremony in May, thanked the Bible Society ‘for the noble work it is doing in our country’.
With the Chadian Bible completed, work continues on many other translations in Africa, and this important Bible work is being made possible by the generosity of people such as yourself.
‘Our country is going through a difficult time right now. Everyone is on guard,’ said Oumar. ‘It is times like these that God offers us the opportunity to unite. Today, the sons of Chad are rubbing shoulders in this room. Politicians often use religion as a source of division. Let the believers break this chain and join hands, as we are doing right now, so that we can move forward.’
Chad's President Idriss Déby was killed in April while visiting troops fighting against rebels in the far north-west of the landlocked country.
Chad is part of the Sahel region and borders many countries including Niger to the west, and Cameroon to the south. Thanks to your continuing generosity, Bible Society has been able to intensify its work in this most challenging of regions, which suffers from widespread poverty and terrorism and makes many areas particularly dangerous for Christians.
Approximately 55 per cent of Chadians are Muslim, 35 per cent Christian and 10 per cent animists. Chadian Arabic is the most widely-spoken language in the nation of 16 million people.
‘Our God wants to communicate with us, the Chadian people, in the language we use every day,’ said Lavoisier Betoudji of the Bible Society of Chad. ‘The Bible in Chadian Arabic will enhance the status of our language, and play a significant role in uniting us.’
Acheik Ibn, the Minister of State for National Reconciliation and Dialogue, said at the launch, ‘Let us cultivate, through the word of God, love, tolerance and forgiveness. If we apply these three things in our lives, I think ours will be a peaceful country.’
When a large replica of the new Bible was carried into the room of the launch, people sang, clapped, danced and used their phones to capture the procession.
Difnakaï Ernest, who represented the president of the Chadian Association of Baptist Churches at the launch, said: ‘This new Bible will promote our language beyond our borders, it will act as a bridge between the Christian and Muslim worlds, and it will be an effective tool for evangelisation.’
Author: Simon Bartz, 26 August 2021 (Last updated: 27 October 2021)
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