Bibles for prisoners
The Austrian Bible Society provides Bibles for prisoners and people in in custody pending deportation for free. In this way we support the important work of the pastoral care in prisons who brings the Bible behind the prison walls in Austria.
Pastoral care in prison is an important offer
In Austria there are about 8000 people in prison. Many of them have to spend many years of their life in there. An imprisonment is a difficult time and can be quite burdensome for a lot of people. In this situation many of the inmates see themselves confronted with questions about life, the world and their personal faith. Pastoral care is an offer to the prisoners to talk with someone whom they can trust. It helps them to come back into society when they leave prison.
Bible gives them something to hold on to in prison
Imprisoned people can have a great benefit from a personal Bible. Some of them do not speak German as their first language. So a Bible in their own mother tongue becomes a true treasure to them. This gives them the possibility to gain a deeper understanding of God and the Bible.
On many occasions the inmates find themselves in the old texts and stories of the Bible since the Bible also speaks of fault, fear, hope and forgiveness. Some are touched by the poetic and hopeful message of the psalms. Others find themselves touched by Jacob’s ladder.
In prison people ask themselves the questions of life in a different, more fundamental way. With the help of the Bible Society we can offer the inmates a Bible, wherein they can search for something, which will help them to cope with the situation and focus on life after prison.
Prison Chaplain of the Lutheran Church in Vienna
Give a Bible to a prisoner
We at the Austrian Bible Society provide Bibles in different languages to prisoners for free. In this way we support the prison counselling team in their invaluable work to offer comfort to the inmates and to deepen their faith. Please support this important project and give a Bible to a prisoner with your donation. Thank you very much!
Letters from prisoners to the Bible Society
“I want to thank you for the Good News Bible that I found in my locker in prison. The Bible encouraged me in my faith and helped me through this time. Continue to be strong in faith and to distribute the gospel!”
Prisoner from JA Josefstadt in Vienna
“I am in prison at the moment and I will stay here a long time. But like the proverb says: All bad also has something good in it. Here I have the time to think about the meaning of life and to re-evaluate my values…If it is possible for you, please send me a Bible and other literature about Jesus. I don’t have anyone else to ask.”
Prisoner from JA Josefstadt in Vienna
Thoughts from two prison chaplains
Encounter with Gods living Word!
"Behind every wish for a Bible there is a person with his/her personal story and the possibility that out of this wish an encounter with Gods living Word is made.
I am so thankful that with the help of the Bible Society it is possible to fulfil every person’s wish for a Bible. No matter in what language."
Jakob Kruse, Prison Chaplain of the Lutheran Church in Eisenstadt
Good and non-bureaucratic cooperation with the Bible Society
Maybe you are surprised: But in no other place of society the need for Bibles is greater than in prison. The reasons are many: After having failed in life they ask themselves questions about life. They also have a lot of time and they come in contact with different counsellors, religions and life stories.
As the prison counsellors/chaplains, we could never meet all the needs of the prisoners, if it were not for the good and non-bureaucratic cooperation with the Austrian Bible Society.
Only a call or E-mail is needed. Then a package with Bibles, in the languages that we need, is sent. The stamp of the Austrian Bible Society in the Bibles is also a guarantee for a good theological balanced translation.
In the name of all prison counsellors from the Lutheran Church in Austria I want to say a big thank you. But an even greater thank you from all those prisoners who find a word that gives life among all the words of the Bible. This word comforts and shows them the way during their time in prison and beyond when they continue their life in freedom.
Markus Fellinger, Prison Chaplain of the Lutheran Church in Stein, Göllersdorf, Korneuburg, Krems and Schwarzau