The global community of Jehovah’s Witnesses has taken a significant step in bridging communication barriers by releasing the Bible books of Matthew and Acts of Apostles in Angolan Sign Language (LAS). This historic announcement was made at a special program held on September 23, 2023, in Luanda, Angola, by Brother Johannes De Jager, a member of the Angola Branch Committee. With nearly 1,881 attendees, the event marked a significant milestone for the LAS community.
The release of these Bible books is a testament to the dedication of Jehovah’s Witnesses to ensure that everyone, including those with hearing impairments, can have access to the Scriptures. The newly translated Bible books became available for download on the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses (jw.org) and through the JW Library Sign Language app.
Angola is home to a significant deaf population, estimated at nearly 360,000 individuals. In 2010, the first LAS congregation was formed, and since then, it has grown exponentially. Presently, over 1,000 publishers are actively serving in 37 LAS congregations, 7 groups, and one pregroup throughout Angola.
The release of Matthew and Acts in Angolan Sign Language is a groundbreaking achievement, as it marks the first time any books of the Bible have been translated into LAS. This effort will undoubtedly serve as a valuable resource for the deaf community in Angola and beyond.
One attendee, deeply moved by the dynamic translation of Acts 8:26-30, expressed how it improved his understanding of the ministry. The scene where Philip runs to catch up with the Ethiopian official resonated with him and highlighted the importance of persistent efforts in the ministry.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are confident that making these two Bible books available in LAS will provide more people with the opportunity to experience Jehovah’s love, as they embark on their journey of spiritual discovery. This historic release allows the message of the Bible to reach the hearts of the deaf community, enriching their spiritual lives and helping them draw closer to Jehovah, as mentioned in Numbers 6:25: “May Jehovah’s face shine upon you.”