Rwanda: Bible Society decries Bible shortage, calls for support

Sponsorship for Bible supply has declined at over 80 per cent, a factor that has led to a surge in prices and a decline in supply, according to officials at the Bible Society of Rwanda (BSR) a Christian Non-Governmental Organization.

The issue was raised on Monday, August 21, as the organisation launched a three-month campaign titled, ‘Shyigikira Bibiliya’ translated as, ‘Support the Bible’ to address it. 

Consequently, the price for one Bible has doubled from $ 4 to $ 8 for the final user. As per production cost, one copy of the Bible is worth $100, and users or readers need sponsorship to access the copies at affordable prices.

Due to this, the organisation has expressed an urgent need for support from different stakeholders to solve the issue.

The launched campaign hence aims to raise awareness of the importance of the Holy Scripture as well as setting strategies that will help seek support from investors, cooperatives, individuals, churches, and the media in order to find solutions for the problem.

Since 2000, the Bible Society of Rwanda has been serving churches and the general public by providing the Holy Scriptures to every person in the language and format each can read and understand at an affordable price.

So far, the body has opened branches in the City of Kigali, Eastern and Northern provinces to avail copies of the Bible and there is a plan to expand to other areas in the near future.

According to officials, the deficiency is caused by the passing of many of those who supported the Bible and others grew older and gave inheritance of their belongings to their children but not their hearts, therefore, so many of them have decided to support other things than the Bible.

Rev. Julie Kandema, the Chairperson of the Bible Society of Rwanda, highlighted the importance of the Holy Scripture in building a peaceful society and country in general.

“Holy Scripture is a basic need. It brings transformation to the community. Supporting the Bible is transforming the world because the word of God transforms and builds a better person who is important to build their country. Everyone is called to support the Bible,” Kandema noted.

She said: “We baptise every day. The number of Christians has been on the increase. However, those who introduced the good news to us have gone astray and have suspended funding to the Holy Scripture. So, we should find a solution ourselves.”

“Over the years, the demand for copies of the Bible has increased from 30,000 copies that were needed every year to 200,000 copies for specific groups of users such as Children, adults, and people with disabilities ( blind or deaf people),” Pastor Olivier Ndizeye of Zion Temple Ntarama said. 

Although the church appreciates the increase of Christians on the African continent and Rwanda in particular, the Christian community is also disheartened by the incisive decrease of sponsorship to avail copies of the Bible.

Pastor Viateur Ruzibiza, Administration General Secretary, believes that the Holy Scripture is a basic need like water and food, adding that under the campaign, strategies have been set to ensure everyone is aware of the issue and knows how their support is a necessity.

Individuals, church leaders, media, cooperatives, artistes, and telecommunication companies will be engaged during the campaign.

Individuals or groups in the country or abroad can provide their support using:

World Remit: + 250788304142

Western Union: 051766 (Momo Pay)

MTN/Airtel: 051766

Mobile Money: + 250788304142

Bank of Kigali: 100007836044

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