Kurdish Surani-speakers in northern Iraq are to receive scripture calendars in their own language for the first time, thanks to an initiative by the Bible Society in Lebanon. The Society has published twenty-thousand scripture calendars in the language for the Kurdish Church and people living in northern Iraq. Ì¢‰âÒWe were excited to know that the Kurdish Church is now growing strong and steadfast in its faith,Ì¢‰âÂå said Mike Bassous, the Bible Society’s general secretary. Ì¢‰âÒSo we decided to provide them with this scripture portion that will accompany them throughout 2007.Ì¢‰âÂå The Society has been publishing scripture calendars since 1980, distributing hundreds of thousands every year throughout the Middle East, using various scripture texts in Arabic, English, ArmenianÌ¢‰â‰۝and now, for the first time, in the Kurdish dialect of Surani. Altogether the Society has published 170,000 2007 calendars for distribution in several countries in the Middle East. The largest quantity among these comprises those destined for Iraq. Some sources estimate the number of Surani-speakers in Iraq at around three million. Ì¢‰âÒThe scripture calendar has been the trademark of our Bible mission in Iraq for years,Ì¢‰âÂå said Nabil Omeish, the Society’s program coordinator for Iraq. Ì¢‰âÒIt provides Iraqi Christians with hope and encouragement to continue living in this troubled country, and it provides the Church with an opportunity to distribute portions of God’s word outside their walls, to non-Christians.Ì¢‰âÂå The distribution of the calendars was expected to be completed in mid-January 2006. (United Bible Societies)