Thursday, October 02, 2008

They have no Bible in the home or have no time to read one!

An estimated 60% of Filipinos have no Bible in the home or have difficulty getting hold of one and yet an overwhelming 90% or more Pinoys claim to be Christian. This is the estimate of Philippine Bible Society officials (PBS) in a recent press conference.

Perhaps nothing shows the failure of catechesis as clearly as this Bible shortage. The Evangelical churches could make being born-again a business (and counting how many have been saved) and the most numerous Roman Catholic Church can raise hell about wearing the right attire for Mass, scream and excommunicate about the RH bill but yet many Catholics have no Bible.

Despite the efforts of the churches, Filipinos seem to have very little appreciation for the written Word of God. I'm not saying that Pinoys have no reverence for Sacred Scripture ( which they do) but because they have no habit of reading, whether be it sacred or secular books.

A devout Catholic was interviewed. She owned a Bible but hasn't read it in 5 years! It was kept in her clothes drawer. She said she hadn't had the time.

Evangelicals were also interviewed.They do read some parts of the Bible but many don't have the time.

Many say the Bible is priced out of their reach.

I think the PBS and the churches should take this Bible lack more seriously than the usual alibi that Bibles are costly. True that Bibles are expensive but the PBS has made costs less (even with the economic difficulties we have).

Also I think that the more affluent can give their Bibles to the more needy. My sister teaches in an "exclusive" Catholic school and she is aghast that students dump their Bibles when school is out. If these rich kids have no need for their Bibles, they can donate it to any of the churches. They in turn can give it to the less fortunate.

I have seen Bibles consigned to the trash.

The PBS is planning to have Bibles as cheap as 50 pesos. Perhaps they would use the cheapest paper to print it on but at least, this is a step in the right direction.

The PBS can also have the whole Filipino Bible on line. This would benefit many especially overseas Filipinos.

But the solution to the problem really is a secular one. We have to promote a culture of reading.

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