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The Distribution of Digital Bibles More Than Doubled Across the World in 2016

SWINDON, UK, July 3, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — For the third year running, Bible Societies have distributed more than 400 million Scripture items around the world — including more than 34 million Bibles. That’s enough for more than 5% of the world’s population. And since the beginning of the decade, the United Bible Societies fellowship (UBS) has distributed Scripture material for two out of every five people on the planet. The overall 2016 total — almost 401.4 million — includes Bibles, Testaments, Gospels and smaller Scripture items like booklets for people learning to read. It’s slightly lower than 2015’s total, but is up on the 2010 total by more than 34 million items.
Digital Scriptures
The distribution of non-print Bibles such as digital downloads, CDs, Scripture texts and DVDs has more than doubled across the world in 2016, driven by the growing demand for Bibles on our phones and devices. More than three million non-print Bibles were distributed in 2016, up from less than 1.3 million in 2015. There’s been an even sharper increase since 2010, when the Fellowship distributed less than 200,000 non-print Bibles in a year. The trend mirrors growing internet use around the world. Around 45% of the world’s population now have access to the internet, and by 2020 seven out of every 10 people on the planet will own a smartphone. We spend more time on our phones than any other media.
Top five countries for the local distribution of full Bibles in 2016
• Brazil 6,773,421
• China 3,514,286
• USA 2,981,407
• Nigeria 1,965,001
• India 1,897,995
Milestone for Brazil
At the end of 2016, Bible Society of Brazil reached the milestone of 150 million Bibles and New Testaments produced at its Bible Press since 1995. It’s one of the largest printing plants in the world primarily for the production of Scriptures. Executive Director Rudi Zimmer said, “In recent decades, more than in any other period, Brazilian churches have been involved in spreading the Word, making Brazil the largest field of Holy Scripture distribution around the world today.”
Full report
The full report, with comments on numerous countries seeing a sudden spike in Bible distribution in 2016 can be found here: www.unitedbiblesocieties.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Bible-distribution-in-2016.pdf
United Bible Societies:
United Bible Societies is a global network of Bible Societies working in over 200 countries and territories across the world. Together, they are the world’s biggest translator, publisher and distributor of the Bible. Bible Societies are also active in areas such as HIV/AIDS prevention, trauma healing and literacy. Bible Societies work with all Christian Churches and many international non-governmental organisations. Read more: www.unitedbiblesocieties.org.

Faith Leaders and Human Rights Organizations to Have Prayer Vigil and Public Witness at Nigerian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, May 12, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The event is part of the #bringbackourgirls campaign.

The vigil will be on Wednesday, May 14, at 9:30 A.M.
The address of the Nigerian Embassy is
3519 International Ct NW, Washington, DC 20008.

Here is the Facebook Event Page:
www.facebook.com/events/668553516514594

The vigil will include: leaving 276 flowers in front of the Embassy, prayers for all the girls, speeches and  praying with mothers and family members “live” from Nigeria via the internet.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, event organizer and Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states,

“We stand in solidarity with all the kidnapped girls of Nigeria, their families and loved ones.  We agree with  Dr. Martin Luther King when he says, ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent  about things that matter.’

“We cannot be silent or indifferent when hundreds of young girls are kidnapped in full view of the world and threatened with being sold into slavery and trafficking.  We must stand in the public square and shout with a loud prophetic voice, ‘Bring back our girls.’

“These are not just the daughters of Nigeria but they are our daughters also.  As we gather in prayer and public witness, we ask God to intervene to protect and return these girls safely to their families.

“We also call upon the Nigerian government, the government of the United States and the entire global community to use every resource possible and leave no stone unturned in ensuring these precious ones are restored to the loving arms of their families.”

Rev. Kris Keating, Executive Director of World Horizons USA and currently in Nigeria helping the families, adds,

“I came to Nigeria not because I think it needs me, but because I am moved by the tragedy of the girls’ abduction and if I was one of the fathers, I would find comfort in knowing that people loved enough to come from far away to stand with me. I am here to love and learn. Will you pray with me today, by name, for those abducted girls?”

Brandi Swindell, Founder and CEO of Stanton Healthcare based in Boise, Idaho, comments;

“As a woman and CEO of women’s charitable health clinics across the nation, my heart breaks for these precious young girls and their families.  This tragedy points to the fact that women around the world are specifically targeted for acts of violence and terror.

“This attack on these young girls of Nigeria is an attack on all women throughout the world.  As I gather in front of the Nigerian Embassy in prayer and public witness, I stand in solidarity with my sisters across the globe calling upon God for mercy and calling upon the nations of the world to treat all women with equality, human rights and justice.

“We cannot rest or be silent until they are safely returned home.  Our message today is clear and simple.  Bring back our girls!”

Americans Urged to Petition White House on Terrorist Group

Location of the four cities in north eastern N...

Location of the four cities in north eastern Nigeria where the Boko Haram conflict took place. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — Jubilee Campaign has petitioned the White House to designate the Nigerian Jihadist group Boko Haram as a “foreign terrorist organization.” Boko Haram is responsible for killing an estimated 3,000 Nigerians and citizens of 9 other countries — primarily Christians — in the last three years and has acknowledged it has ties to Somalian terrorist groups and Al Qaeda. The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague recently found probable cause that the group committed crimes against humanity. The Petition is available on the White House website for any concerned citizen to sign.

“Boko Haram has demonstrated a vigorous commitment to terrorist tactics, killing thousands of innocents in pursuit of their global jihadist ambitions,” said Jubilee Campaign’s Executive Director Ann Buwalda. “It is high time for the State Department to demonstrate an equal commitment to truth, justice and the rule of law, by acknowledging and confronting Boko Haram as the terrorists they are.”

Earlier this year, Boko Haram called for the religious cleansing and genocide of Christians in northern Nigeria. Since then, the group’s indiscriminate bombings have killed Christians, moderate Muslims, and others it considers “infidels.” The victims have included men, women, and children as well as soldiers, police, and journalists.

Boko Haram has also threatened U.S. interests and attacked U.S. citizens. At least, two Americans, one a United Nations official and the other a U.S. official, survived a bombing in August 2011 at the U.N. headquarters in Nigeria. The U.S. embassy has continually warned of threats to Western targets and advised U.S. diplomats to be wary of attending religious services. Attacks that took place this year on Jan. 20 in Kano claimed more than 200 lives, making it the highest single-day death toll in any global conflict in 2012.

Despite this the State Department has refused to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist group, claiming that they are mostly concerned with local political ambitions. Leaving aside the fact that Boko Haram’s local political ambitions are overthrowing the Nigerian government, ending democracy, and instituting what they call “full sharia law,” the sheer number of attacks Boko Haram has carried out on churches and other civilian targets, clearly show them to be a terrorist group with religious motivations.

The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 empowers the State Department to designate such groups as “foreign terrorist organizations.” Such a designation would have numerous effects, including the ability to freeze and seize bank accounts, arrest and deport Boko Haram members and associates, and impose sanctions on countries that fund the terrorist group.

“The lack of an FTO for Boko Haram is quite telling, particularly given the recent designation of the Syrian group Jabhat al-Nusra, which has a sparse record of military focused suicide bombing compared to Boko’s track record of suicide-bombing primarily defenseless civilian populations” said Emmanuel Ogebe, a legal expert on Nigeria who worked on the petition. “That the State Department could label Al-Nusra after 1 year when Boko Haram is in its 9th year clearly shows that arbitrary political considerations trump evidence or body counts. It is unfortunate that the State Department is playing favorites with terrorists instead of responding to facts.”

The Petition currently has just over a thousand signatures. We need 24,000 people of good faith to sign and demand truth from their government and justice for the Nigerian people.

Jubilee Campaign promotes the human rights and religious liberty of ethnic and religious minorities; advocates the release of prisoners of conscience imprisoned on account of their faith; advocates for and assists refugees fleeing religious based persecution; and protects and promotes the dignity and safety of children from bodily harm and sexual exploitation.  Jubilee Campaign holds special consultative status with ECOSOC at the United Nations.

Operation Christmas Relief for Boko Haram Victims by American Christians

The 12 Nigerian states with Sharia law

The 12 Nigerian states with Sharia law (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — In furtherance of our mission statements, the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN has today launched a Relief Fund to support victims of Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria.

This fund, according to Dr. James Fadele, the Chairman of the association, is meant, at this season of thanksgiving and Christmas, to encourage, support and lift-up family members and relatives of those who have been killed, suffered injury or those traumatized through the terrorist activities of that extremist-fundamentalist group in Nigeria.

CANAN plans to deliver checks to the victims who will be identified by our sister association in Nigeria, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN. The presentation would be done in Nigeria just before Christmas.

As we enter into a time of thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations here in the US, we call upon all American Christians, churches, religious groups, NGOs, individuals, and all lovers of peace and people of goodwill to kindly remember the plight of those Nigerian Christians whose lives have been devastated because of the terrorist activities of Boko Haram.

There are hundreds of widows left without a source of livelihood, there are thousands of children rendered fatherless and many more family victims.

That group has insisted on the Islamization of Nigeria, the imposition of Sharia and the killing of Christians, especially those in northern part of Nigeria.

At the last count, more than 700 Nigerian Christians have been killed this year alone. A short video documentary titled Boko Haram: Terror, Blood & Death, on cananusa.org details the grim horror being perpetrated by this terrorist group.

As the leading Nigerian-American Christian group in the United States, CANAN will continue to advocate for the designation of Boko Haram as a terrorist organization by the US State Department.

The State Department has so far refused the recommendation of the FBI, Justice Department and the Homeland Security Department to declare Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization, FTO.

Please send checks to:
Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, CANAN
PO Box 1041
Bay Shore, NY 11706

Or donate online on cananusa.org.

19 Nigerian Christians Reported Killed Monday Night in Attack During Worship Service

ANTA ANA, Calif., Aug. 7, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — Gunmen armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles surrounded a church in central Nigeria and opened fire during a Monday night worship service. According to the Associated Press report, the attackers killed 19 of the worshippers at Deeper Life Bible Churchin the town of Otite in Kogi state, located 155 miles southwest of Nigeria’s capital Abuja.

Location of the four cities in north eastern N...

Location of the four cities in north eastern Nigeria where the Boko Haram conflict took place. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another report from Africa puts the death total at 16 and the number of seriously wounded at nine. The church’s pastor was among those killed.

According to the Associated Press, no arrests had been made as of Tuesday morning. No group has claimed responsibility for the massacre. However, the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram has attacked numerous churches and has vowed to make Nigeria an all-Islamic country while driving out all Christians. An Associated Press count puts the number killed by the Boko Haram at 660 this year. That number includes many Christians as well as moderate Muslims and police.

“The increasingly intentional activity of Boko Haram has taken on the characteristics of a real war,” said Open Doors USA President Dr. Carl Moeller. “These are not random attacks as they’re often characterized in the media. They are intentional, and they’re designed with one purpose in mind: the elimination of Christianity. I call it ‘religicide’ or the intentional and systemic effort to eliminate a religious belief and its followers from a country or region.

“Our prayers go out to the families of the victims and members of the Deeper Life Church. May they experience the peace which only our Lord can give.”

Open Doors USA is among a group of religious leaders and human rights advocates who 10 days ago sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressing their deep concern regarding the continuing religiously motivated violence in Nigeria. The letter calls on the State Department to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization as well as to work with the Nigerian government to provide improved security for religious minorities.

The State Department’s 2011 International Religious Freedom Report released last week stated: “In Nigeria, attacks by elements of the violent extremist sect Boko Haram claimed the lives of both Christians and Muslims. The government did not effectively quell rising hostility or investigate and prosecute those responsible for violence.”

Nigeria is ranked No. 13 on the 2012 Open Doors World Watch List of 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians. According to World Watch List, Nigeria had at least 300 martyrs in 2011, although the actual number could be closer to 1,000.

An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world’s most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.

Thousands of African and Filipino Believers Seeking ‘Church-Planting Movements’

ORLANDO, Fla., May 1, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — Pioneers (an evangelical mission movement) is reporting that thousands of Christians from Ghana, Nigeria and the Philippines are asking to be trained in the principles of “church-planting movements” (CPMs).

Today, cross-cultural church planting is taking place in environments that are fraught with poverty and persecution, so by necessity, the local church often takes root in its simplest form. In these places, churches are essentially groups of believers gathering in homes, under trees, or café back rooms to worship, pray, study the Bible and teach others to do the same. And it is in response to these realities that the “church-planting movements” approach has been adopted by Pioneers.

One of the principles that Pioneers teaches through its CPM Training Initiative (just launched in 2010) is the importance of humbly empowering indigenous believers to become leaders of faith. As missionaries identify people who are interested in spiritual conversations, draw them into Bible studies, and bring them to a point of decision — they are taught to do all of this in way that prepares and equips new believers to go out and do the same.

Regarding the recent surge of indigenous interest in CPM principles, Dr. Dwight McGuire (Pioneers’ lead missiologist) commented, “This year, we may see our African and Filipino missions partners reach a ‘tipping point’ in their embrace of church-planting movements. In post-training evaluations, participants are saying ‘I wish we would have had this type of training 5, 10 even 15 years ago.’ And these people are telling other believers that they need to think about CPMs.”

Through Pioneers’ new initiative, over 500 missionaries and indigenous partners have been trained to date, and these participants have stimulated the interest of thousands more. In order to see greater numbers of indigenous believers equipped, Pioneers plans to train well over 1,000 Africans and 1,000 Filipinos — many of whom are preparing for ministry among Arabs. A full description of this and other strategic plans Pioneers has for 2012 may be found at www.Pioneers.org/2012strategy.

Pioneers is an evangelical mission movement with 2,500 international members serving on 229 church-planting teams among more than 140 people groups in 95 countries. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, visit Pioneers.org.

IRD Thanks Congressmen for Urging Boko Haram Terrorist Designation, Criticizes U.S. State Department for Excusing Violent Nigerian Islamists

Location of the four cities in north eastern N...

Location of the four cities in north eastern Nigeria where the Boko Haram conflict took place. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — Two U.S. Congressmen are being commended by the Institute on Religion and Democracy after they urged U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to designate the violent Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram as a terrorist organization.

U.S. Representatives Peter King (R-NY) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA) cite Boko Haram as responsible for mass murder of Nigeria’s Christians. Boko Haram has declared that it will cleanse the region of Christians and establish an Islamic State.

King, Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Meehan, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Counter-terrorism and Intelligence, said in a March 30 letter to Clinton that Boko Haram’s “evolution in targeting and tactics closely emulate that of other al Qaeda affiliates that have targeted the U.S. Homeland.” They also reminded Clinton that the group has killed more than 900 people in the past two years. Meehan and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) released a report on Boko Haram in conjunction with a November hearing warning: “Do not underestimate Boko Haram’s intent and capability to attack the U.S. Homeland.”

In contrast, at a March Senate hearing, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson referred to Boko Haram as “a loosely-organized group” that was “focused primarily on local Nigerian issues and actors.” Carson left the targeting of Christians unmentioned, saying it was “important to note that religion is not the primary driver behind extremist violence in Nigeria.” The State Department official said that the Obama Administration “hopes to focus on education and social programs in the North” rather than invest in security for persecuted Christians.

IRD Religious Liberty Director Faith J.H. McDonnell commented:

      “The congressmen realistically assess the actions of Boko Haram, its connections with other terrorist groups, and its intentions to Islamize Nigeria, as a very serious threat both to U.S. security and to the citizens of Nigeria.
      “Carson and the State Department continue to downplay Boko Haram’s Islamist nature, preferring to see the terrorist murderers — of whom even the Nigerian police are afraid — as victims of poverty and marginalization. Once again, State Department moral equivalency turns the world upside down.
    “Nigerian churches verify what the congressmen report. Boko Haram has been relentless in its attacks against Christians and their places of worship. One Anglican diocese in northern Nigeria has lost almost 100 percent of its members to the killings and migration of survivors to the south.”

www.TheIRD.org