News / Africa

Sierra Leone's First-Ever Krio Bible Makes Impact

FILE - Several hundred Sierra Leoneans leave a church in Freetown.
FILE - Several hundred Sierra Leoneans leave a church in Freetown.
— After decades of work, the first translation of the Bible into the Sierra Leone dialect of Krio was published less than a year ago.  The translation is gaining widespread use, and is helping to increase church attendance in the capital, Freetown.

The Warren Memorial Church in Freetown has chosen to use the newly created Krio Bible at its services.  People sing in Krio and there is also preaching in Krio.

The Krio Bible at the Warren Memorial Church in Freetown, Dec. 29, 2013 (N.deVries/VOA)The Krio Bible at the Warren Memorial Church in Freetown, Dec. 29, 2013 (N.deVries/VOA)
x
The Krio Bible at the Warren Memorial Church in Freetown, Dec. 29, 2013 (N.deVries/VOA)
The Krio Bible at the Warren Memorial Church in Freetown, Dec. 29, 2013 (N.deVries/VOA)
This version of the Bible has actually taken decades to create explains Ruby Pearce, who helps run the services at the church.  She said the Bible Society of Sierra Leone had the idea for the creation of the first ever Krio Bible in the 1970's.

Pearce said bible translators came to Sierra Leone in 1974, but were only working part time.  The translation of the New Testament was finished in the 1980's.  Translation of the Old Testament stretched well into the new century, until the Krio Bible was finally completed in the spring of 2013.

Pearce said it was a significant step for the country, as the majority of the population speak Krio. "We need to know our God understands our language and there are some nuances in the English language that we cannot understand, no matter what, but when it is in our own language we are able to approach God better," she stated.

That approach is getting better results, from what she can see at church services.  Pearce estimates about 10 to 20 percent more people come to church when the Krio Bible is used. "When we have our Africana service ...  People respond better because they stand up and talk.  They always say, in our own language we never make any mistakes when we are talking, so they are very comfortable," she explained.

The Krio people are descendants of freed slaves.  Their language dates back to the colonial era, when it was developed by early settlers in the western part of Freetown.  It is a mixture of English and African languages, with some additional words borrowed from French and Spanish.

Desmond George Williams, the senior steward of the Warren Memorial Church, said he is pleased with the positive reaction the Krio Bible has had over the past few months. "People hearing the story from a language they understand, gives it a fresh outlook, brings the story closer to them when they hear it in the vernacular.  And I think that is one great strengths that the Krio Bible has had," he said.

Twenty-eight-year-old Cindy Williams agreed.  She sings in the choir at Warren Memorial church and said that having the Krio Bible on hand is helpful to prepare for for services in Krio too.  

Previously it would take longer to put together a Krio service due to translating from English to Krio.

"But now we have the Bible, so if we want to do a Krio service we just make reference to the bible, give the person the passage, it is easier, it makes it easier for us now," noted Williams.

She added that many young people have said they now feel a stronger connection to the Bible, as well as a new appreciation for their language.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid