Five barriers which prevent access to the Bible worldwide

and how to overcome them

Barriers (Photo: Reuters/Marko Djurica)

As a believer in Christ, you want to be sure that everyone has a copy of God’s Word, the Bible, in their own language.  In our modern, tech-savvy world, it is difficult to believe that there are still barriers preventing millions of people from having access to the Word of God.

With websites like Faith Comes by Hearing and YouVersion, most Christians may conclude that the Bible translation and distribution task is complete.

Although these websites meet the need for many, there are millions who, for different reasons, cannot access these resources.

The reality is that millions all over the world have no way of receiving God’s Word, the Bible.  They live in a place where the Gospel has difficulty getting past the spiritual darkness.

Desert Springs Ministries provides you with the tools necessary to help you bring God’s Word to those who don’t yet have access to it.

From our efforts to help people bring His Word to the world, we discover that they have faced five barriers which prevent the Word of God from reaching the people who need it most:

1) The barriers of government restrictions

government barriersAccording to Reporters Without Borders, there are at least fifteen nations that restrict or monitor access to the internet.

For example, if you are surfing the internet in China and search for “天安門事件” (Tiananmen Square massacre), “人權” (human rights) or “美國之音” (Voice of America), your search will cause you to get an error message.

If too many error messages occur, your internet service will be disrupted for a minute or more.

In many countries of the world, the security police regularly arrest their people for unauthorized internet activity.

As a result, some Bible software is blocked or too dangerous to use in certain countries.

2) The barriers of geographic isolation

the earth at night: the barrier of isolation

His Word is most needed in the dark spots of the World

Surprisingly, not everyone lives near a city or a town where there is internet access.  For example, even large towns in Russia, China, Africa and South America struggle to provide electricity for their people, let alone access to the internet.

For many of these countries, the problem is terrorism, gang activity or political revolution.  Since there is civil unrest in these places, the power grid is one of the first things that breaks down.

3) Lack of Internet Access

This map shows the most popular social networks by country.

Around the world, social networking is the most popular internet activity.  We love our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterestthe barrier of internet accessAnd other countries enjoy social media networks with names like Fotolog, Qzone, VKontacte and Sina Weibo.

However, have you ever stopped to think how little we would use the internet if we removed social media activity from the equation!

When a country has chosen a favorite social network, it indicates that the internet there is developed and inexpensive enough to be accessible to almost anyone.

In this map, most of the countries in gray have a struggle accessing the internet.  It may be because it is too expensive, or because of geographic isolation or a lack of cellphone networks.

In these countries, websites of any kind are inaccessible to almost everyone.

4) Language barriers

The barrier of languageAround the world, at least one book of the Bible is available in over 2,900 languages.  However, the task of translating the Bible into the living languages of the world is still incomplete.

For example, according to the Wycliffe Global Alliance, there are about 1,780 languages without Scripture.  They estimate that 165 million people are unable to hear the Bible in a language that they understand.

Bible translation began in languages that were easily accessible by translators or were spoken by large numbers of people.  The remaining languages are spoken in places that are far off the beaten pathway.  In some cases, they are difficult to reach by road.  In other cases, political unrest makes it unsafe for Bible translators to live there.  And wherever terrorism rules, Bible translation becomes very dangerous.

5) Illiteracy barriers

Literacy barriersA printed copy of the Bible is useless to those who can’t read or write their own language.

So imagine if we could afford to give a Bible to everyone whose language has one.  Even so, nearly a billion people still wouldn’t be able to read the Bible we gave them.

According to Literacy Partners, 12% of the world’s adult population cannot read, write, do math or use a computer.

The task of teaching these adults how to read may seem impossible.  As a result, Aid for Africa estimates that it costs US$350 to send a child to elementary school.  Let’s estimate that it costs the same to teach an adult how to read. Thus, it would cost 2.8 Trillion US Dollars to teach them all.

Breaking Beyond the Barriers

Thankfully, God is providing exciting new ways to make His Book available to everyone in the world.

In 2009, He graciously gave us a solution which allowed us to Bring God’s Book beyond all five of the barriers listed in this article.

And we’d like to share it with you now.

To learn how we break past these barriers, click on the button below:

Click here to learn more!

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