Around 88 entities might close because of the economic impact of the pandemic. The Bible Society in England has launched a £5m plan, to save those most at-risk.
The financial fallout, the lockdown and the security measures of the coronavirus, has left dozens of Bible Societies around the world at risk of closure.
The pandemic has stopped the face-to-face sale of Bibles through the Societies, which in some countries like Jordan, Burkina Faso and Egypt, are the only or one of the few points of sale.
It has also hindered their vital fundraising work in local churches, as well as their Bible translations and engagement work, and the additional programmes to support vulnerable minority groups like street children, the blind and the illiterate that they run.
Because of all this, around 88 Bible Societies worldwide, which serves 245 million people, are threatened with closure, Christian Today reports.
“If these Bible Societies close, we will face a situation where the Bible will not be distributed in some countries and there will be a great risk of Christian communities not having access to the Bible”, Oldi Morava, Director of International Mission for the Bible Society, in England, said.
The Bible Society in England has launched a £5m plan, to save the most at-risk Societies. The first set of funds already earmarked for Gambia, Sri Lanka and Costa Rica.
According to Morava, “in all of these countries, the Bible has an impact on people's lives, and can change individuals lives and their communities in a radical way”.
“Bible Societies have been operating for more than 200 years. We've gone through two world wars and the 1918 flu pandemic. We've always been able to continue. It would be dreadful if some Bible Societies around the world had to close now because of the coronavirus pandemic”, he added.
The Bible Society was founded in 1804 by Christian campaigners, including British politician and leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade, William Wilberforce.
Today there are 150 Bible Societies around the world.