New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - After 24 years of hard work, started in 1980, the complete Bible is available in a translation in the local language in the north eastern Indian state of Assam. The translation is the work of an ecumenical team including Baptist Pastor Giridhar Borah and Catholic priest Father Lukose Cheruvalel, a Salesian.
The New Testament was completed ten years ago and the first 20,000 copies printed sold out in 12 months. Now the Old Testament has been completed and sent to the publishers.
The translation, commissioned jointly by the United Bible Society and the Bible Society, has a simple style accessible to all and can be clearly understood by Christians and any other persons interested in reading Christian Scripture.
Christians in Assam have welcomed the news. They say it will help them assimilate and live the Gospel as well as make it easier to share the Good News with other people. Christians in Assam state are 35,000 of different denominations among a population of 26 million.
The Catholic Archbishop of Guwahati Mgr Thomas Menamparampil is very happy for the achievement. He personally encouraged the initiative and said that it should be an ecumenical translation so as to unite the efforts of the different Christian traditions present in the state.
India has 1,600 different languages and dialects. The official languages are Hindi and English but the Constitution recognises 18 other languages.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 11/6/2004 lines 24 words 252)