The Teleo (teh-leh'-ow) people (a pseudonym) number approximately 187,000, with 98% of the population professing Christianity. The most educated people in their region, the Teleo learn their language in primary school, resulting in a 73% literacy rate.
A Scottish missionary brought the gospel to the Teleo in 1894 and remained among them for 40 years. Through a Bible school he founded to train local preachers and teachers, the good news of salvation eventually reached 168 Teleo villages. Additionally, the missionary translated the New Testament in the early part of the 20th century, and church leaders collaborated with the local Bible society to produce a full Bible translation in 1976. Although the original translation is no longer available, they completed a revised edition in 2010.
Four church associations, including one composed of churches in a neighboring country, make up the Teleo Baptist churches, with a total of 207 churches and 45,150 members. Troubled by serious concerns with the 2010 revised Bible, the churches requested assistance from Bibles International for a new Bible translation. BI accepted their request and signed an agreement in 2014.
BI consultants currently work with the Teleo on linguistics and literacy, while the translation team continues work on the New Testament, having printed 1,000 trial edition copies of the epistle of James in 2017. After completing the New Testament portion of this project, the Teleo desire to immediately begin translating the Old Testament.
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