The Chairo (chai'-row) people (a pseudonym) reside in several Asian nations, numbering 378,000. Christian adherents make up only 5% of the population, an unknown percentage of whom claim to be evangelical, while 83% of the Chairo follow Buddhism. With a literacy rate of 70%, the educated Chairo and most men also use the state language.
Pioneer missionaries from the Baptist Missionary Society of Great Britain brought the gospel to the Chairo people in the early 19th century, but unfortunately, mission work ceased when these missionaries died. A British Baptist missionary resumed work in the early 20th century.
A New Testament in Roman script, published in 1926, proved too difficult for modern readers, so the Chairo received another New Testament, translated and published in 1991, using the state script. Unfortunately, this translation did not resolve the difficulties, since the Chairo in other countries complete their education in English, and they do not speak the state language, nor are they able to read the state script. The Chairo people needed a New Testament translation printed in Roman script.
Bibles International received a request for translation and publication of a Chairo New Testament in Roman script from a Baptist church association in June 2000. Made up of 300 Chairo churches, the Baptist church association became the sponsorship committee for this translation project. Several BI personnel attended the dedication of this New Testament along with the joyful Chairo believers and church association members on August 5, 2012.
Although three different New Testament translations have reached the Chairo people over the last century, the Chairo believers look forward to having a complete Bible in their language. After receiving a formal request to adopt the Chairo Old Testament project, BI adopted the project intending to make necessary revisions to the New Testament before the printing of the Old Testament translation. In 2019, BI printed and distributed the first Old Testament trial edition, Genesis, to the Chairo people.
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