Formerly known as Burma, the country of Myanmar was once part of the British Commonwealth. It gained its independence in 1948. During several decades of military leadership, the country was isolated from foreign influence. Since 2010, Myanmar has made political and economic changes that have opened the country to outsiders. More than two-thirds of Burmese people belong to the Burman ethnic group, with the remainder of the population composed of smaller ethnic groups. Myanmar’s tropical climate experiences monsoons nine months out of the year. The summers are hot and humid, and winters are dry and milder.
A majority of Burmese people are Buddhist. However, in the early 1800s Burma was the focus of the well-known Baptist missionary, Adoniram Judson. This is testified to by the fact that three percent of the population calls itself Baptist. Many of these are nominal Christians. An equally small percentage of Burmese adhere to Islam. With the advent of theological liberalism in the 1920s, most of the Baptist mission works in Burma followed suit. There are several independent Baptist associations that have broken away from the mainline Baptist convention and are preaching the gospel and evangelizing.
Since the mid 1990s, Bibles International (BI) has been translating Scripture for language groups in Myanmar. Initially contacts were made through the Bibles International India Society, which is in close proximity to the India/Myanmar border. Although Myanmar is considered a “closed country” in some respects, BI personnel have not experienced difficulty in traveling to Myanmar and conducting literacy and translation workshops. Some regions that were closed to westerners are now open. In 2006, the Bibles International Myanmar Society was formed. Bibles International has published several complete Bibles and New Testaments for Myanmar and is implementing several literacy projects.
A translation center in the capital city of Yangon was dedicated in 2017. It contains the Bibles International Myanmar Society offices and also serves as a conference center and guest house for Bible translation consultants, translators, and visitors. There remain a significant number of language groups in this country that still need reliable Scriptures.
Personnel with linguistic, literacy, or Bible translation backgrounds
are needed to serve as consultants for current and future translation
projects. It is also possible to double as teachers in the various Bible
schools in the Yangon region.
To learn about opportunities in Myanmar, visit Bibles International's website: www.biblesint.org.