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A study Bible is exciting news for church leaders in eSwatini, but unrest is fracturing the country formerly known as Swaziland.

eSwatini Bible mission in peril and needs your prayers

The bright news of the launch of the ESV Study Bible New Testament in eSwatini has been clouded by political upheaval that is threatening to derail what was, until recently, a flourishing Bible mission.

Churches, the Bible Society bookshop and schools, which had a government agreement to receive Scripture resources, have at times been closed, not only because of the pandemic but also because of the protests sweeping the country.

This has severely hit the income of Bible Society in eSwatini. Bible workers have been working without pay since September and some team members will sadly have their contracts terminated before the end of the year.

The protests calling for democratic reforms in Africa’s last absolute monarchy have been rocking the nation formerly known as Swaziland since June 2021 and scores of people have been killed in the unrest. There have been conflicting claims of protesters resorting to violence and security forces using live ammunition to disperse demonstrations.

Please pray that the opposing sides in the conflict find a peaceful solution and pray that Bible mission in eSwatini will once again prosper so the team continue to progress with their amazing work.

Pray for eSwatini

Thanks to the kind giving of Bible Society supporters, the Study Bible New Testament in the local siSwati language has been printed and it is hoped an initial 7,553 copies will be distributed this year. Work also continues on the Study Bible Old Testament.

One church leader, Revd Sipho Sibanyoni-Hlutsi, said, ‘We are proud as Swazi pastors to have such a Bible in our language. Study Bibles are mostly in English but we are proud of this product which will help us understand the Bible even more clearly through the notes, maps and other illustrations.’

Thank you for your prayers and your continued support for Bible mission in eSwatini.

 

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Author: Simon Bartz, 25 November 2021

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