American Bible Society

A melting pot of cultures

Located on the northeastern coast of South America, Suriname is a melting pot of cultures. It’s influenced by its Caribbean neighbors as well as regions including India, Africa and the Netherlands. Due to the diversity of the country, more than 25 percent of the Suriname’s population lacks access to a complete Bible they can read and understand in their own language. Another significant problem is domestic violence; thousands of Surinamese women have suffered domestic abuse and need to learn of God’s healing.

To equip all people in Suriname to encounter Christ in the pages of Scripture the Bible Society of Suriname, with support from American Bible Society’s financial partners, is pioneering Bible translation, Bible engagement and domestic violence prevention efforts.


Bible Translation: Within language groups in Suriname, people speak multiple dialects. This diversity presents challenges for Bible ministries on the ground that strive to share God’s Word in people’s heart languages. To equip all people in Suriname to engage with Scripture, Bible translation teams must translate the Bible where no translation, or only part of a translation, exists.

Bible Engagement: A large population of Surinamese people come from oral cultures, where communication occurs through spoken word. In most cases, these people cannot read or write, and must rely on alternative methods of Bible engagement to encounter the hope-filled message found in the Bible.

Bible-Based Domestic Violence Prevention: In Suriname, more than one out of every 10 women has experienced domestic violence in her home. In the aftermath of this abuse, victims often feel ashamed and conceal their pain. The people of Suriname need a Bible-based program to raise awareness of the domestic violence crisis and equip victims to find healing in God’s Word.


Bible Translation: On the ground in Suriname, Bible translation teams are working to make the Bible available in languages that lack a complete Bible translation, including Surinamese Javanese and Sranatongo. While these languages currently have access to a New Testament translation, they have yet to receive an Old Testament translation. By translating the Old Testament into these languages, translation teams plan to reach more than 150,000 people with the complete Bible.

Bible Engagement:To equip people from oral cultures to engage with Scripture, the Suriname Bible Society, with support from American Bible Society’s financial partners, has instituted a three-stage model of Bible teaching. Phases include showings of the JESUS Film®, Faith Comes By Hearing® Bible listening sessions and New Testament reading classes. Through the program, the Suriname Bible Society expects to reach more than 22,000 people from nine languages with God’s Word.

Bible-Based Domestic Violence Prevention: The Suriname Bible Society, with support from American Bible Society’s financial partners, works with the five Caribbean Bible societies to implement a Bible-based domestic violence prevention program for local churches and communities. The program’s curriculum is based on biblical principles and works to raise awareness of domestic violence, lower the frequency of domestic violence and equip victims of domestic violence to find healing in the words of Scripture. 

Icon of a stopwatchQuick Facts

579,600 people

live in Suriname

1 in 10 women

has experienced domestic violence in her home


languages spoken nationwide

Icon of hands prayingPrayer Points

  • Ask God to give strength and wisdom to Surinamese Bible translators as they strive to make God’s Word available in unreached languages.

  • Pray that Bible engagement efforts—through film, listening groups and reading classes—would continue to transform lives in Suriname.

  • Praise God for church leaders working to implement Bible-based domestic violence prevention programs in Suriname.

Photo Credits:

Marlon Winedt