At last, the new edition of the New Testament in Sango, the national language of the Central African Republic, is finished and ready for distribution! Fini Mbuki – “Good News“ – is the title on the red dust cover of the newly printed books. For many years before this, the old edition was unavailable and out of print. Now everyone is happy, however. It is thanks to the generosity of our benefactors that ACN was able to provide the 37,000 Euros that were needed – enough to print 30,000 copies. These will now be distributed among the nine Catholic dioceses in the country – above all for the use of the catechists, who play a crucial role in the transmission of the faith.
A sound knowledge of the Scriptures is one of the fundamental preconditions for establishing a strong faith. In this country, which has been plagued ever since its independence in 1960 with political crises and violence, the inner renewal of the human person is the key to a better future. Since the bloody civil war, which began in 2013, vast sections of the country are still under the control of armed groups. If the country is ever to be restored, it will be necessary not only to rebuild all the ruined houses and public facilities, but above all the spirits and souls of the people. There can only be a better future if hatred is overcome and a new chapter opened, in a spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness. And in any case it is vital for the faithful to have a sound knowledge of the Good News of Christ. For although two thirds of the population are Christians, nonetheless in many places superstition and belief in witchcraft are still deeply entrenched.
The Vicar General of the diocese of Bouar, Italian Carmelite Father Marcello Bartolomei was the man responsible for the revised translation and publication of the new Testament. It was a painstaking and difficult undertaking, but now there is great joy at its success. He writes: «We thank the Lord and all our benefactors, and ACN above all, for having supported us in this precious work for the spreading of God’s Word. Now that we have in our hands the writings of the New Testament, and above all the Gospels, it will strengthen our faith and give encouragement to our catechists, our Catholic faithful and all those seeking baptism. It is in fact our custom to give the newly baptised a copy of the New Testament, and at Easter 2020 many of them will now receive this precious gift of the “Word of Life”.
Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who helped!