OPAC Press Release 08.02.2021

Press Release - August 2, 2021
For Immediate Release - download PDF

OPAC, AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY AND INTERNATIONAL
CHRISTIAN CONCERN DELIVER ARABIC-LANGUAGE BIBLES TO
WAR-TORN MIDDLE EAST

New Initiative Reaches Many Young Christians who Have Never Had Access to the Bible

(Washington, DC) – The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC), in a joint initiative and in partnership with the American Bible Society (ABS) and International Christian Concern (ICC), today announced that it has successfully delivered hundreds of Arabic-Language Bibles to the Middle East. The Bibles were distributed to young adults in regions that have been heavily impacted by years of war. In many cases, this initiative offers Christians, many of whom practice their faith under the shroud of secrecy for fear of retribution, their first opportunity to read and hear the Scriptures.

Andrew Veniopoulos, Vice-Chairman of OPAC, stated, “OPAC is proud to work with such dependable partners like the American Bible Society and International Christian Concern in order to help fellow Christians around the globe. We feel a particular responsibility to help our brothers and sisters in places with large Eastern Orthodox populations, and with the support of ABS and ICC, we were able to share these spiritual resources with the faithful half a world away.”

“At the American Bible Society, our mission is to share God’s Word where it’s needed most,” said American Bible Society President and CEO Robert L. Briggs. “We’ve been heartbroken by our brothers and sisters’ reports of ongoing conflict and trauma in the Middle East and are compelled to bring the hope and healing of the Bible to those who are suffering. It’s an honor to partner with organizations like the Orthodox Public Affairs Committee and our partners in war-torn areas to support Orthodox Christians in their time of distress.”

Claire Evans, ICC Reginal Manager, stated, “So often, we were told by recipients that 'this is a real treasure,' a sentiment speaking to the Bible as a source of nourishment and strength. Though the Bible is God's Word put into human hands, war had kept it inaccessible for many. An entire generation of youth had reached adulthood without holding Scripture, and they were hungry for it. We are happy to have partnered together to facilitate making the Scriptures accessible for young adults, and we are looking forward to the further development of programming that helps these young Christians pursue faith formation. We are so encouraged by their eagerness, and I am excited for our continued partnership that supports Christians living in such challenging conditions.”

George Gigicos, OPAC’s Chairman, commented, “Such basic religious items like Bibles can be hard to come by in nations ravaged by war, but thanks to our valued partnerships with ABS and ICC, I am proud that this OPAC initiative was successfully fulfilled and that these young adults can now read the Word of God. Working together, we can and will continue to make a difference, and I invite all people of faith to join us in helping Christian communities around the world who are persecuted.”

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The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC) provides public advocacy for the global Orthodox Christian Church and promotes, supports, defends, and champions Christian communities worldwide in the face of persecution, exclusion, and prejudice. We are committed to defending sacred space, whether it is physical, intellectual, moral, or spiritual; to speak for the voiceless, to listen to the unheard, and to manifest the righteous causes of Christian faithful everywhere.