LONDON, JULY 3, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The international charity Aid to the Church in Need hailed a milestone in making Scriptures available to children, with the publication of the 50 millionth copy of its child's Bible, "God Speaks to His Children."
The project began in 1979 and the Bible is now available in 172 languages; the 50 millionth copy was published in the Umbundu language, which is spoken in Angola, Africa.
In some places, the book is the first, or one of only a handful of books, published in the language.
Maria Zurowski, head of family pastoral work at ACN, said: “For millions, the Child’s Bible is so precious because it is written in their native language, in which the readers learned to pray.
“For thousands, the Child’s Bible is the first book they have ever held in their hands.
“Sometimes, this little Bible is the only book a family owns.”
In 2012 more than a million copies of the book are expected to be printed in 23 languages including, for the first time, Kikuyu, Luo, and Pokot – which are three of the more than 50 regional languages that coexist in Kenya, alongside official languages, Swahili and English.
Zurowski said, "A bishop in Kenya told me that it is really important to have a Bible in the local languages -- he said these are the languages that the people weep and pray in.”
The Child’s Bible contains key stories and texts from the Holy Scriptures written in language that is accessible for children.
It was originally written in German by theologian Eleonore Beck and the illustrations were painted by Sr Miren Sorne.
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The English Child’s Bible is available from ACN UK for £3, at www.acnuk.org/shop