Translating the Bible is just one part of the Bible lifecycle, there is no impact if the Bible and the Bible related materials are not published and distributed.
The countries of the West Balkan Partnership are not in a good economic position. Some are still outside the EU and all have a high percentage of poor people. Because of poverty, the margin is very low on Bible sales, so they are trying to lower the costs and find ways of making the Bible available for everyone.
In the past five years, the WBP has been increasing the number of different kinds of Bible publications. Because of the improvement in church relations through the Bible Engagement and Advocacy projects, now they are in a position where they have more channels of distribution and more input of what and how the BSs should distribute. After the main translation projects are finished and scriptures published, it is estimated that sales will increase, in some countries probably by more than 50%.
The fact that the market is quite small in most of the countries of the WBP and the people are quite poor, makes it very difficult to increase the income from sales. However, the WBP is trying to start serving the diaspora communities living abroad. This initiative is still in the early stages, but the WBP is committed to explore every possibility through traveling and meeting different diaspora communities that might be interested all around the world.
The WBP has been consolidating the orders for printing since 2006 and they will continue to do this over the next four years. But this is not enough. The WBP needs additional funds for free distribution, subsidy and Bible production in order for people to be able to afford or be gifted to have their own Bible. Through the Production and Distribution projects the WBP hopes to help the marginalized communities such as Deaf or Visually Impaired people, orphans and poor children, and others who can’t afford their own Bible.
- Printing and Distributing the new Bible Translation (Serbia)
- Reprint of the Romani children’s Bible (Serbia)
- Romani NT printing and distribution (Serbia)
- Introducing the Word of God to next generation (Serbia)
- New edition of the Ecumenical Bible (Slovenia)
- Development of new Bible editions & materials (Slovenia)
- Bible to the schools (Macedonia)
- Printing, Publishing and promotion of the new Bible Translation (Albania)
- ESV Bible Study translation and publication (Albania)
- Printing of the Roma Gospel (Albania)
- Printing of the dynamic translation of the Bible in Albanian + Evangelistic project (Albania)
The production and distribution work is at the core of the Bible Society mission from its beginning. In the case of the WBP it takes up to 9.2% of the overall budget need for the next 5 years. In some years, like in 2019 and 2022, production and distribution will have a more significant place in the budget because new translations will be published and launched. It is crucial to be able to provide the different communities with the Word of God with a price they can afford.