The Revd Dr Juris Calitis (above left), our priest at St Saviour's Anglican Church, Riga, has completed a long, special and historic task. As a theologian at the University of Latvia he coordinated an academic team of 22 theologians and translators over the last 17 years to prepare a new translation of The Holy Bible in the Latvian language. Working from the original Greek and Aramaic, the scholars have produced the first such translation in modern Latvian. The last Latvian Bible was translated over 300 years ago. The new translation was launched at an ecumenical service on 13 October at Riga Cathedral, and all 3000 copies sold on the first day of publication.
Archdeacon Jonathan LLoyd (above right) was at St Saviour's Church Riga last month to congratulate Dr Calitis on behalf of The Diocese. The Archdeacon said, "This is an incredible task and Dr Calitis and his colleagues are to be warmly congratulated on such a major achievement. The new Bible in modern Latvian will have a major impact on the life of the Church of all denominations across Latvia, and indeed, for Latvians across the world."
There are 35,000 members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Latvia. The Latvian Lutheran Church participated in the theological discussions which led to the Porvoo Agreement but has not yet signed the common declaration. There are a further 25,000 members of the Latvian Church Abroad (which has observer status within The Porvoo Communion). The Latvian Church Abroad has 70 priests and 10 deacons - half of which are women.
More news about this historic event can be found at the Latvian Bible Society website here.