PODCAST: Entire Bible Translated to American Sign Language for the First Time (Whyte House Report 9.27.20)

This is the Whyte House Report podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to the Christian Post, After nearly four decades, the complete Bible is now available in American Sign Language for the first time ever. Deaf Missions, a ministry dedicated to communicating “the Gospel of Jesus with Deaf people through their heart language, culture and identity,” began the project in the early 1980s. In 2016, the mission partnered with Wycliffe USA, American Bible Society, Deaf Bible Society, Deaf Harbor, DOOR International, Pioneer Bible Translators, and Seed Company to complete the project, according to Mission Network News. The final books needed — Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel — were completed this fall. Now, the entire Bible is available to the world’s 70 million people who are deaf for free online, through social media, and on a smartphone app. The translation was led by people who themselves are deaf and trained in the biblical languages. “Roughly 98% of the worldwide population of Deaf people have never encountered the real Jesus,” notes the Deaf Missions website. “What is the number one issue Deaf people face when it comes to knowing Jesus? The answer boils down to two words: communication barriers.” Deaf Missions President Chad Entinger explained to MNN in an email that the ASL Bible has garnered a “tremendous and exciting reaction from the U.S. Deaf Christian community.

According to the Christian Post, A church planter in India’s Maharashtra state was brutally killed by Hindu extremists after suffering years of abuse for his Christian faith amid escalating religious intolerance and violence in the country. Persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reports that on July 10, unknown Hindu extremists murdered Pastor Munsi Thado, 35, and left his body in the forest near Badpari village in the Godcharoli district of Maharashtra state. The Hindus reportedly dragged the pastor from his home, ignoring his wife Rajini’s pleas for his life to be spared. In the five years preceding his death, Pastor Munsi lived in the forest near Badpari village due to village pressure. Village leaders angered by Munsi’s evangelistic efforts demanded he recant his Christian faith. When the pastor refused to comply with their demands, he was chased out of the village. Following his ostracism from his community, Munsi, who was part of a Maoist separatist group prior to his conversion to Christianity, continued to evangelize, leading nearly two dozen families to Christ. “He was killed because of his faith, life, and ministry to the Adivasi people in the area,” one of his colleagues told ICC. “He led more than 20 families to Christ in the last five years, ever since he was thrown out the village by some Hindu radicals.” India has roughly 66 million Christians out of a total population of approximately 1.36 billion. The country has seen a steady rise in persecution of Christians over the past decade, according to Open Doors USA, which ranks India the 10th most dangerous place to live as a believer.

According to the Christian Post, “The Passion of the Christ” star Jim Caviezel recently shared new details about the highly anticipated sequel of the blockbuster hit. On Thursday, Caviezel told Breitbart News that he received a new draft of the next installment of “The Passion of the Christ.” “Mel Gibson just sent me the third picture, the third draft. It’s coming,” he said on the latest edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow. Caviezel, who portrayed Jesus in 2004 for the film, went on to share the sequel’s film title. Caviezel said, “It’s called ‘The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection.’ It’s going to be the biggest film in world history.” Despite its lack of industry support, the first film earned a staggering $612 million worldwide with a production budget of just $30 million.

According to Business Insider, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is weeks away from opening the doors to his first preschool, the Bezos Academy. Bezos on Tuesday shared a photo of one of the classrooms on his Instagram, revealing that the school, which is located in Des Moines, Washington, will open on October 19. Bezos said the school is “the first of many free preschools that we’ll be opening for underserved children.” Bezos Academy is a “Montessori-inspired” preschool that will serve children between the ages of 3 and 5. The schools will be full-day and year-round, and will be tuition free for its students. According to a post on the Bezos Academy Instagram account, the team began working on the schools early last year. Other posts from the page, which began posting photos in August, show Bezos touring Montessori schools around the country, meeting with students in Nashville and Washington, DC.

According to the Christian Post, A Christian pastor and Bible translator in Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua was shot and killed in clashes between separatists and the military. Yeremia Zanambani, the pastor of the Gospel Tabernacle Church of Indonesia (GKII) known for translating the Bible into Papua’s Moni dialect, was found dead outside his home in the village of Hitadipa in Intan Jaya district on Sept. 19, UCA News reports. The death of the 67-year-old pastor, who also ran a local high school, was confirmed by GKII church officials in Jakarta. “Reverend Zanambani was shot dead on Saturday afternoon on his way to his pigpen. This is a deep sadness. We are deeply saddened by the loss of a religious leader who served the Moni community so well,” GKII said in a statement on Sept. 20. The local military commander also confirmed Zanambani’s death, claiming he been killed by a separatist group. “The ferocity of these Papuan terrorists continues in Hitadipa. Reverend Yeremia Zanambani was a victim of the group,” said Col. Gusti Nyoman Suriastawa, head of Regional Command III. However, another pastor at the church, Timotius Miagoni, told Reuters that Zanambani’s wife had found her husband bleeding in the pigsty and told Miagoni he had been shot by military personnel.

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!