GMA News Online

Church promotes Bible via animé downloads

January 22, 2008 12:23am
The Catholic Church has started using animé on mobile phones to popularize the Bible, and give children and teens the spiritual boost they need.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Monday said that Bible animé and readings could already be accessed via cellular phones.

“It’s a concept of networking or being the partners of all the young people in the country using mobile phones," said Fr. Oscar Alunday, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate.

The Bible readings can reach mobile phone subscribers through multimedia messaging service or MMS, according to Alunday.

He said mobile phone subscribers could avail of Bible readings and animations by typing “BIBLIYA ON" and sending it to 286.

For now, the service, which costs P5 per download, is only available to Smart users. But Alunday said the project would soon be available in other mobile phone networks.

He said the project was a response to an “alarming" rate of Filipinos who no longer read the Bible.

Alunday cited a 2006 survey conducted by the Philippine Bible Society (PBS), which showed that 60 percent of Filipinos no longer read or own a Bible.

“It’s very alarming indeed but at the same time I look at it as an opportunity to look for this young people who are hungry for the Word of God," Alunday said.

The “Bible Anime" project was made with the help of the PBS, and Enzima International Inc., which volunteered to do the animation.

PBS, a non-profit and inter-confessional organization, already created last year an e-Bible, an electronic version of the Bible, and translated it in seven Philippine languages.

The PBS said the idea came after “concerns that the Scriptures will be left behind in a world that is moving so rapidly."

“If we are truly to engage our present society in the Word of God, we have to do it through all positive media that reach them, and one of these is, of course, the computer," the PBS said.

The e-Bible, which comes in Tagalog, Cebuano, Bicol, Pangasinan, Pampango, Samarenyo and Hiligaynon, can be bought at the PBS office along United Nations Avenue in Manila. - GMANews.TV
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