Introduction / History Suryoyo people take pride in their long Christian history. Their Bible, the Peshitta, dates back thousands of years. And although they revere God's Word, the Peshitta is not understood because in that length of time the language has changed greatly. The Old Testament was translated from Hebrew in the second century and the New Testament from the Greek in the fifth. Christians appreciate what Scripture is, but they have minimal knowledge of what it says for their daily lives. Many have seen the "JESUS" film, also recently produced. Now, at least 13 local churches and many people abroad eagerly anticipate this project's completion.
Clergy members are eager for their mother-tongue Old Testament. They already welcomed and began to implement the recently completed New Testament into their religious life. Christians now want their culture reclaimed for Christ.
Christians here suffer persecution. It comes from governments in this area and from individuals who are hostile to their faith. Unfortunately, fewer than five percent of Suryoyo Christians are literate. So to meet their need for God's Word, an audio translation is being prepared as well as printed text. Outside Tur 'Abdin, the language's original location, Suryoyo is mixed with other languages often. It is used increasingly, mainly by youth, throughout the Jacobite diaspora. Suryoyo are found in many of the world's countries. All also use their national languages or local lingua francas, and some are multilingual.