Did the Church stop Bibles from being delivered?


Hi all,

Here is an article I received by email from Agape Press:

Ministry Finds Many Obstacles Complicate Latin Amer. Bible Distribution

The head of the Bible League’s Latin American Ministries division says there are many challenges when it comes to distributing scripture across the continent. That is why the League recently launched its “Defy the Darkness” campaign, a massive effort to encourage Christians to help spread God’s Word throughout Latin America.

Recently, the Bible League put together a Christian media trip to Ecuador in an effort to showcase how God’s Word makes a difference in Latin American countries and how much that influence is needed. John Wagenveld, the organization’s Latin American Ministries director, says issues such as poverty and the strong arm of the Catholic Church make it tough for outside Christian groups to get Bibles to many citizens.

“The Catholic Church has been an institution that in years past was actively inciting people in some of the indigenous communities to not allow the evangelical Christians in,” Wagenveld explains. “Sometimes this meant beating them up with sticks, stoning them,” he says.

“Thankfully here in the year 2006 some of that is changing, and there’s a little bit more openness,” the Bible League spokesman continues, “but in some communities, there is still persecution [of Evangelicals].” And another obstacle to spreading the gospel through foreign missionary efforts, he notes, is the cost of equipping these evangelical workers.

“It is very expensive to support a foreign missionary,” Wagenveld observes. “In a country like Ecuador, where you have ten percent Evangelicals, the best way we can invest our funds, our money, our prayers, is to send the nationals, who already know the language,” he says.

“What we need to do is provide them the tools and the training, and specifically with the Word of God – both in Spanish and in the indigenous languages,” the Latin American Ministries director points out. Providing the appropriate scripture translations for the targeted people group “is another area that we touch on,” he adds, “so that they can read it in their heart language.”

Christian nationals can make a big impact for God’s Kingdom, Wagenveld asserts, especially if they have copies of God’s Word to distribute. The “Defy the Darkness” initiative focuses on encouraging Christians to give towards sending Bibles to Latin America at a cost of $4 per Bible.


When I read Defy the Darkness, I wondered if they were going to bring the Church in and sure enough they did.

I’m sure the Church took efforts to ensure that the flock was not set upon by those bearing false doctrine but using sticks and stones? Is there any way to either verify or debunk this story?




If this fellow said Ecuador’s population is “10% Evangelical” he is either misinformed or knowingly giving false testimony.

Ecudaor is 95% Catholic Christian, while 5% is other. A good estimate is that there is about 3% non-Catholic Christians, while the other 2% is either non-Christian, or non-religious. You can check the stats at: cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ec.html

What really bothers me is how these American non-Catholic “missionaries” go to predominately Catholic countries (especially in Latin America), and implicitly suggest with their actions and purpose that that “Catholicism is not good enough or not Christianity”.

I mean seriously, what is their point when they go to these countries? To divide Christians? It makes no sense whatsoever. Can’t they just simply say to these souls: “You need the message of the Gospels, start being a better Catholic for your own sake.” But no, they want these souls to deny the Catholic faith and follow their own ideas of religion.


There’s a lot of things this short article does and does not say. It does **not **say that “the Church” refused to allow Bibles to be distributed, which it would never do, even if it had the power to to so, which is arguable. It does say that Evangelicals have been attacked by Catholics, and it implies that the Church as an institution, officially encouraged the violence. I’d like to see some evidence for this last charge.

It is true that there has been friction and even violence between the two groups in South America (although the article only gives one side of it). Also, it doesn’t go into any depth as too the direct causes of these conflicts, leaving the reader with the impression that it is a theological religious war, with the violent Catholics beating up peaceful Evangelicals in order to suppress the truth.

It is my understanding that these type of conflicts stem more from cultural tensions that theology. In traditional societies, one’s religion is very closely tied to the social and economic life of the community. Families, especially, can be torn apart by conversion and/or apostacy of a family member in ways that we Americans can’t begin to imagine or appreciate. Also, there may be a cultural resentment factor here. Evangelicalism (along with Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses) is primarily American in it’s focus and, religious aspects aside, can be seen as a form of “Yankee imperialism” or “ugly Americanism.” Right or wrong, like it or not, that is a very real perception factor. So it’s not as simple as this (arguably) slanted little news item might suggest.

Moral of the story: Consider the source, and don’t take everything you read at face value.


I do not know if it were true about the sticks and stones, but I do know of a Catholic girl, (now fallen away) who was involved in “missionary” work to South America with Christian but not Catholic groups.

She was disturbed at the lack of “Christian” welcome they received. I asked her if they encouraged these catholic Christians to go to another Church besides the Catholic Church. The answer was yes. But she could not see how that was a problem, since she still believed that we were all Christians. (She now does not attend the Catholic church since we “worship Mary”.)

Honestly, I have to say that even if Christians were driven away with sticks and stones, I have a hard time faulting these Catholics. For if these Christians are successful of pulling Catholics out of the Catholic Church, those peoples souls are in immortal danger. That is a serious issue that deserves a serious response. Sticks and stones may not be the correct response, but sometimes fear for our children/loved ones causes us to do less than smart things.

As for stopping Bibles from being delivered, since they are probably filled with Protestant explanations of verses targeted specifically at prothlesizing Catholics, I would see this much in the same light as forbidding incorrect translations of scripture.

I did notice the site is completely missing any references denigrating the Catholic Church but uses language like, getting the gospel into the hands of people who have not heard it. And it implies that it only places Churches where there are no local Christian churches.

God Bless,


BTW, she also shared how that because the Christian group was there doing road work and such stuff, they went into every home in the village and prayed with the people. This specifically is where she said they did not receive a “Christian” welcome even though all they did was ask to pray with them and try to spread the gospel of Christ.

As I said, at the time she was still nominally Catholic and considered us all to be Christians. She no longer holds this belief and I am sure that when these ignorant people went to these homes to pray, the adults there understood that these people didn’t think that they were Christian even if she did not understand it at the time.

Come to my home and tell me I am not Christian but ask to pray with me? Things could get mighty tense especially when you wish to accept the concrete building help in the village but are deeply offended that they don’t believe you are Christian.

God Bless,


I was once told by someone who did not know that I was Catholic, that they were going on a missionary trip to Peru to “convert the pagans” (yes, the person was referring to Catholicism). This is sadly, very common.


Latin American countries do not have the same concept of separation of Church and state the we do in the US. Several LA countries, have Catholicism constitutionally defined as the “official” religion. It would be perfectly legal for the government (whose workers would undoubtedly be overwhelmingly Catholic) to block the distribution of those Bibles, especially if they were accompanied by anti-Catholic literature.


Distribution of Bibles is a good thing. I was baptized as a Catholic, confirmed, but later fell away from the Church after college. I had never read the Bible. A friend of mine who is Catholic took me to a Christian music festival because one of his friends had a band that was playing at the festival. There were representatives of many different churches (Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, etc.) at the festival. At the time that I attended the festival I did not go to any church. Somebody from the Baptist church gave me a Bible (KJV). I was searching for meaning in my life at the time, but I did not know Who I was looking for. I actually read the Bible all the way through. I did not become a Baptist. Actually, I found that everything that I had been taught about the Catholic faith was true. I repented of my sin first to God in prayer and then to the priest in confession and rejoined the Catholic Church. Since then, I have been involved in adult Sunday school at my parish (Bible study), an ecumenical mission meal for the poor, and have become an EMHC. There is nothing in the Bible that contradicts the Catholic faith; rather, the Bible clarifies evertything thatt the Catholic Church teaches. I just wish I had known the Bible sooner than I did! :bible1:


Absolutely, there is not one thing in the teachings of the Catholic Church that contradicts scripture.

But one thing that may have been going on is Bibles with wrong interpretation of that scripture may have been being handed out.

That is as dangerous as if the scripture itself were wrong when the interpretation of scripture, the footnotes in the bible, contradicts the teaching of the apostles found in the Catholic Church.

God Bless,


There are also major problems between Catholic and Protestant versions of the Bible. For example, in Luke 1:28, Catholic Bibles will read, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (RSV-CE) when Gabriel speaks to Mary. Protestant Bibles usually translate “full of grace” as “highly favored”. Now, this may seem small, but just this one small change can undermine the infallible teaching of the Immaculate Conception, since “full of grace” implies a lack of sin and “highly favored” does not. Also, they do not include the Deuterocanonical books (the Apocrypha), so seven books are entirely left out. Conveniently, these books contain many scriptural references to Catholic doctrines, like Purgatory. This is the same thing that the Catholic Church was accused of doing during the Protestant Reformation - burning Bibles, witholding them, and such. They did do that to some extent… to Protestant versions, because of serious doctrinal errors and anti-Catholic commentaries. Catholic versions were always made available.


Luke 1:28 in the NAB, which is a Catholic Bible, reads “And coming to her, he said, ‘Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.’”


I just read a conversion story exactly on christian missionaries going to Catholic countries and the after affects of what this does. Instead of one harmonious community, it creates division and tellling very poor and illiterate people “Bible alone”

This conversion story is from “Surprised by Truth 2” and due to this troubling experience, the author and her husband converted to Catholicism from Evangelical Protestant.


Well, that is definitely a problem. If the people already were Catholic, the missionaries should not have even been evangelizing them. They should have stuck to evangelization of people who belonged to a non-Christian religion. Also, if the people cannot read, giving them Bibles is pointless. The denomination that sent those missionaries should be ashamed.


Although I live in Louisiana, there is no Catholic church in my town. The nearest is 5 miles away in either direction - one is the parish, one is a mission. My neighbor across the street is the pastor of a large non-denominational church. They send missions to Nicarauga on a regular basis.

Wait! Get this! For the last three years they have been sending missions to LITHUANIA! To spread the word of God in that benighted part of the world! That’s right folks, from a town of 5,000 people in southeastern Louisiana, they send missions to a country which has been Roman Catholic since the middle ages. To spread the word of God…

I have extremely, extremely limited contact with my neighbor. His ex-son-in-law was a student taught by my wife. I have had many conversations with this young man and the circumstances of his life are such that he has expressed an interest in Catholicism.

PS Don’t get me started on what they did to my two kids on Halloween. Harvest festival? No, Hell House.


Many evangelicals see nothing wrong with going into a village and evangelizing. They see it as spreading the gospel to the unbelievers. However, even in our own society, many evangelicals see little to nothing wrong with misrepresenting things if it benefits their cause.
Our society gives us rules for when someone lies to us or about us, and those rules include remaining civil. Well, some people do not have the same rules regarding being lied to and being lied about. What the evangelicals see as “unchristian” behavior, is probably just unAmerican (north) behavior.
Even in this country not too long and even today it is not unheard of for someone to commit assault due to slander. Think about how much more hard it would be to not assault someone who is not slandering you, but your God.

We must look at it from a natives perspective, not an American who believes everyone should be like us perspective. (not that there is anything wrong with us)

A lone Raven


Yes, the author was terribly conflicted with this work. The selection is called, "Our Mission to convert Catholics made us Catholics."
Ms. Franklin says she grew up being told to feel sorry for Catholics because it was a cult.
She was bothered by the fact that these people had been Catholic and were being converted to learn THEIR way on understanding the Bible - uncomparable to 2000 years of Catholicism.


Ah, yes, Hell House!!
That really makes me furious…What is the point??? If they don’t want to celebrate Halloween, fine; turn off the lights & stay home. But this nonsense of trying to scare people into a “conversion”(actually more like a panic attack!) is about the least Christian way to spend the evening that I can imagine!!

PS: My lousy typing sometimes creates interesting typos; I originally wrote “spew” the evening…which is closer to the truth…


Here is a link to her story:




Yes, this is one of the weaknesses of the New American Bible.


Ask your friend to pick up a dictionary and look up the word worship. It means “reference” to a divine being as in God - BUT, it also means “admiration” for someone as in Blessed Mary. If this gal knew what “veneration” for Blessed Mary is, and what “adoration” for God and God alone is, she might still be Catholic. She fell for Protestant miss-information.

I think how sad it is that Protestants have such a hard time with the word “worship” and the word “Mary”. Even sadder that Catholics have been sucked into this Protestant black hole of deception. I know Jesus “admires” His mother and so do I. How sad so many confused people must attack her and smear her blessed name just to unjustly insult Catholics.

An educated and intelligent Catholic or Protestant knows that worship can be given Blessed Mary. Only an ignorent Catholic or Protestant fails to understand this. If you don’t like the word “worship” because you use it for God alone that’s fine, just don’t hate those who use the word “worship” to mean “admiration” for the mother of our God.

Communion is one thing to Protestants and the Eucharist to Catholics. Shall we stop using the words Body and Blood of Christ since Protestants say communion is “symbolic” only? (Of course we ALL know Protestant communion IS “symbolic” only. That’s one thing they actually got right!:thumbsup: ) Catholics have the Eucharist, communion and the Body of Christ. They all mean the same thing to Catholics but 3 seperate things to Protestants. For them The Eucharist is “waffer” worship, communion is “symbolic” only, the Body of Christ rose from the dead and is ascended into heaven. (Unless their Mormon or JW, etc…)

The Catholic Church is 2, 000 years old. Words have been around for a long time. Sometimes meanings change. Know the history of a word before we butcher its use.

Most Protestant sects are young, less then 100-200 years old. Most all non-denominational denomination Protestant sects are no aloder than their preacher is when he started preaching what ever it is he preaches today! Say 25 years old or less on average?

How much does a word change in 25 years? 150 years? 2,000 years? Do some generations today that are in their 70’s or 80’s use the same word to mean something different then say a 14 year old? What do these words mean to you: gay, rod, piece, scratch, queen, drag, etc… I tell you what they mean to my father (79) at the end.

You can also go to the USCCB website to see that it is just fine to worship Blessed Mary so long as it is done to admire and venerate her, but you can only use it for God when you give Him adoration.

So what did you think those words meant? Here is how I used them: gay (happy), rod (car or gun), piece (gun), scratch (money), queen (wife of a king), drag (puff on a ciggerette)

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