Mango churches strongly desire to have the entire New Testament. To date, the team has translated 70 percent of the New Testament and seven books are in print. The remaining books are all epistles, which are among the most challenging to translate. This phase 2 project will focus on those.
The Mango people live in more than a hundred villages. Travel is extremely difficult in the rainy season. During the dry season, it’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach 120 degrees, making work extremely hard. A great dry wind can blow sand many hundreds of miles, making it difficult to see or breathe. The economic situation is very weak and poverty is widespread. To meet their living needs, people use or sell their own agricultural products.
About four percent of the Mango people profess Christianity, but most are animists and remain attached to ancestral values. They practice ancestor worship and use totems representing an animal, plant or object that symbolizes an ancestor or protective spirit. They believe in God, but traditional priests, who lead their ceremonies, influence their beliefs and daily lives.
A great tension exists between those in the traditional religion and the church, as is seen in kidnappings of Christian youth for rite-of-passage ceremonies. The Christians try to make a stand, but it’s very difficult. Family pressure can be intense, and the influence of the majority religion is growing. Many Mango are addicted to alcohol, which leads to quarrels, prostitution and other harmful behaviors.