A New Bible for the Kurds

It’s been more than 150 years since the translation of the Bible into Sorani Kurdish began.

Finally, in April 2017, the process reached its goal: the first Sorani Bible was printed.

New translation: a milestone

An important Kurdish dialect, Sorani ––also known as Central Kurdish––is the second most widely spoken Kurdish dialect, the mother tongue of about eight million people in Iran and Iraq. Now, these eight million people can read the Scriptures in their heart language for the first time. Believers can be built up in their faith, grow in their knowledge of God and understand more fully what the Bible says, with the ease and clarity of reading and learning in their mother tongue.

Access, the next hurdle – there’s an app for that

The challenge remains for Kurds living in the Middle East to get hold of an actual Bible in book form. Very few bookshops stock the virtually forbidden Kurdish Bible, making it difficult to access.

To address this, OM has worked with partners in creating a simple Bible app so that Kurdish people can easily download Scriptures in their own language, to their phones.

Privacy is also a benefit. “It’s hard to carry your paper(back) Bible discreetly if you’re a secret Christian,” explains one OM worker. “They’ll question why you have a Bible, but no one’s going to question why you’re going out with your phone.”

Pray it forward

The basic app launched in April 2017 and was downloaded 6,000 times in its first year. Now, OM is partnering with developers to make the app available on more devices, including Windows computers, and to add functions that will let users share verses on social media, highlight passages and make notes.

You can join us in this influential project, with your prayers:

  • For the development and distribution of the Kurdish Bible app. 
  • For Kurdish believers to take ownership of creating their own relevant resources.
  • For the new Sorani translation to have an impact on the Kurdish church and result in an increase of Jesus followers.

The Kurds are a people without a state, geographically dispersed across national boundaries, some as far as Europe. With the introduction of a Sorani Bible in book and electronic form, the Kurdish people of Iran and Iraq have a new chance to discover a greater identity and a better homeland––the same ones promised to Abraham and to all of us who embrace these same Scriptures now printed in the Sorani Kurdish language.

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