The Roma people have been mobile throughout their history, living scattered all over Europe for centuries. They are a people that have experienced slavery, oppression and prejudice, and are often looked down upon by society.
There are an estimated 1-2 million Roma people in Romania, with possibly six Romani varieties there that need Scripture. So far, work is ongoing in two of the varieties of Romani spoken only in Romania, with the team working to build contacts with interested churches to help meet their Scripture needs in the other four. Books of the Bible are being translated and published, but literacy is a struggle for many Roma people, so the team is also trying alternative media resources — including recordings, Scripture videos and apps — to encourage Scripture engagement among the Roma church.
One significant challenge for the cluster project is that many Roma churches often share a pastor with other congregations who does not speak Romani, has no time to learn it and sees little need for it. That, combined with the low literacy levels among the Roma people, makes it difficult to encourage Roma churches and individuals to engage with Scripture in their own language — or to see the value in having it.
A large and growing number of children are learning a standardized form of Romani in schools, and a local committee has recently decided that this language renewal and unification effort is the best approach for the written future of their language. Team members have just started training the new translators for this interesting development.
The team continues to work with local churches and organizations on figuring out the best way to reach the Roma people with God’s Word in a language and form that clearly speaks to their hearts. And with God’s wisdom and insight, the Roma people will be reached with the Scripture in his perfect timing!
- As the project team works with local churches and organizations to determine how best to reach the Roma people — and what people to bring on as translators — pray that God will give everyone involved wisdom and insight.
- Ask God to use the Scripture books and other materials that have been produced and distributed to reach the hearts of those who read them, stirring a desire for more of his Word in their own language.
- Pray that the Roma people across Romania would hear about the love of God in their own language and learn that he values them so much he sent his own Son to die on their behalf.
Make a Prayer Connection: Pray for full funding for the Roma Scripture Translation Project.