Bridging Faith Across Borders: AI in Global Missionary Work

In Tokyo, Leslie Taylor, a Christian missionary, diligently crafts sermons in English and Japanese for his bilingual congregation.

He tackles the unique challenge of translating nuanced messages into another language with the assistance of an AI chatbot, ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI.

Taylor appreciates the AI’s help with complex sentence structures, though he remains cautious about potential inaccuracies in translation.

Meanwhile, in suburban Columbus, Ohio, Dion Frasier, another minister, utilizes the same technology to connect with a growing Haitian community in Creole.

This linguistic outreach aligns with efforts to make religious texts more accessible; currently, the Bible is fully translated into over 700 languages, covering 80% of the global population.

Academically, researchers at the University of Southern California are enhancing Bible translation efficiency through advanced natural language processing.

However, AI in religious contexts receives mixed reactions. A survey reveals a split perception among U.S. Christians, with some finding AI exciting while others consider it unsettling.

This dichotomy is echoed by Mary Nelson in New Zealand, who navigates her hesitations by leveraging AI to distribute Bible lessons more efficiently.

Nelson’s online ministry, which previously relied on costly and slow manual translations, now benefits from AI’s ability to translate English into Spanish quickly, reducing cost and time.

In Virginia, James Nored’s ministry employs AI to translate and produce multilingual voiceovers for the Story of Redemption Film Series. This approach has proven vital, especially for resource-limited projects like outreach to the blind in Albania.

Back in Japan, despite the utility of AI, Taylor emphasizes the irreplaceable value of delivering sermons in person. He views his role as not just a translator of words but a spiritual messenger conveying the essence of the gospel to a diverse audience.

For Taylor, technology aids in his mission, but the human element remains paramount in interpreting and sharing the divine word.

Leave a Comment