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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Bible Translator Killed Protecting His Family in the C.A.R.

  • Kelly Givens
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2013 Dec 16
  • Comments

A Wycliffe Bible translator was shot and killed last week during a deadly outbreak of violence in the Central African Republic, Christian News reports.

Elisee Zama was working with ACATBA (Association Centrafricaine pour la Traduction de la Bible et l’Alphabétisation), which is Wycliffe’s ministry partner in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.). According to ACATBA, Zama was killed while trying to get his family to safety at a hospital compound in Bangui, the capital of C.A.R.

In recent months, Bangui has become an area of great concern for reprisals against Christians. Though approximately 50% of C.A.R.’s 5 million residences profess Christianity, a coalition of Islamic rebel groups have thrown the country into turmoil. As Christian News reports, the Muslim minority “has routinely looted buildings and raped victims, with over 600 people killed last week alone. Another ACATBA Bible translator was murdered less than two months before Zama’s death.”

French troops are currently occupying C.A.R., with the goal of reducing the rampant violence there. ACATBA representatives are asking for prayer for the safety of believers in C.A.R. “Pray first for safety,” a spokesperson requested in a statement earlier this month. “For now, all of our colleagues are staying inside their homes. …Pray for an end to the fighting—for both the immediate situation and long term. Pray for God’s peace to reign in this country that has already endured so much.”

Before his untimely death, Zama was working “to promote local language development, Bible translation, literacy and community development in the Central African Republic.”

Publication Date: December 16, 2013.