The indigenous Macuxi people today number only some 15,000, and roughly two thirds currently live in the Amazon area of northern Brazil, close to the frontier with Venezuela and Guyana. The remaining third live in Guyana itself. The Macuxi came into contact with the European colonial powers for the first time in the 18th-century. Over time, they were enslaved by landowners and forced to work in the rice fields and in the mines. In return, they were introduced to cheap alcohol, leaving many of them addicted and causing great harm to their traditional village and family life.
The Catholic Church has been present in this region since the beginning of the 20th century. The missionaries have stood by the Macuxi and helped them to escape their difficult plight. By inculcating the Gospel values they have helped the people to say no to alcohol, to refrain from violence in the event of conflicts and to extricate themselves from their slavery to the big landowners. Many landowners have been less pleased by this and as a result there has been some violence, even to the extent of some mission stations being burned down in recent years.
Thankfully, some of their traditional lands have once again been restored to the ownership of the Macuxi people. But now they face new challenges, with the spread of fundamentalist sects and attempts to induce the people into consuming alcohol once again. The Church and the tribal elders are concerned above all for the children and young people.
In order to help root the Gospel values early, deep in the hearts of the children, ACN is helping to fund the translation of its Child’s Bible, God Speaks to His Children, into the Macuxi language. For almost 40 years, this little book of Bible stories with the bright red cover has been a worldwide hit, and has already been translated into over 170 languages, in a total printing of over 50 million copies.
Now 10,000 copies are to be printed in the Macuxi language so that the children, young people and even the adults, who otherwise have no Bibles, can read the colorfully illustrated Bible stories in their own language and so allow the Gospel message to penetrate and form their hearts.
We have pledged to give $10,100 for this project. Will you give for the printing of these 10,000 Child’s Bibles for indigenous faithful in Brazil?
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.