Persecuted Church: Thank you Steve Jobs!

June 5, 2013 by Open Doors in Stories of Persecution

 Digital Bibles

Update- 10/5/2011

In August, we wrote a blog about how the technology developed by Steve Job’s company (Apple) had helped persecuted Christians around the globe. Today, upon the news of his death, we say “thank you” again for the technology that has blessed so many persecuted Christians. Christians who could not own a bible before, are now able to read one on their cell phone, or listen to one on their mp3 device. This has helped so many grow in the Word.

Thank you again Steve!

For the past 5 days people have been talking non-stop about Steve Job’s retirement. His retirement is quite significant, as he has been responsible for many technological advances in our society. However, some of the technology he is responsible for has been appreciated even more so by persecuted Christians.

The widespread adoption of Apple products in the last decade often sets new standards for digital formats. “In the tangle of formats for processing audio, video and text, Apple’s decisions in choosing formats singled out a few formats being used universally,” an Open Doors worker in the Middle East stated. “This makes it much easier for us to reach many people with the same product.”

By now, almost any portable player or video phone is able to use the compressing method H.264 (or MP4) for playing videos, which became popular when Apple first introduced the iPhone. Apple’s choice in using ePUB for their tablets for e-books has also greatly supported the distribution of Bibles in a single digital format.

“In the Middle East and North Africa there are several countries we consider to be closed countries,” the Open Doors workers explains. “Bibles cannot be brought in easily and for believers from a Muslim background it can be dangerous to possess a printed version of the Bible. A digital Bible on a cell phone is safer and more easy to use. In our region possessing a cell phone is widespread. The advantage of the ePUB format is that it rearranges text automatically so the text can be read well, even on the small screen of a phone.”

“In addition to having the written format available, many languages have the Bible available in an audio format,” the Open Doors worker also shared. “These audio versions can be made available for cell phones or MP3 players. This is very helpful for illiterate believers and those who grow up in an oral tradition, where hearing a story is more important than reading one.”
“It is great,” the Open Doors worker concludes, “to see how Apple’s technology can be used in a great way for the kingdom of God!”
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