South Africa: World Hope Ministries


In a country that is desperate for change, Bible Society is working with World Hope Ministries to offer hope with God’s powerful word in some of South Africa’s darkest places – its prisons. This project aims to present prisoners with the Scriptures through lessons on practical issues of Christian life and to support the facilitators who run these lessons. Through the program, Scripture resources are also provided to schools, local underprivileged children and prison staff.

Download Project Fact Sheet

South Africa has suffered extreme poverty, violence and a history of racism. The country is experiencing endemic corruption and, in some places, inequality is worse than it was during apartheid. One in five South Africans live in extreme poverty. The crime rate is skyrocketing due to the state of the economy and prisons are overcrowded. South Africa has the world’s 12th highest number of prisoners, outranking countries with nearly five times its population. There are a total of 240 prisons countrywide, with approximately 164,000 inmates at any given time. The prison population remains overwhelmingly overcrowded with a national bed space of a little under 120,000 across the 243 facilities nationwide, leaving more than 45,000 inmates without proper accommodation.

Most of the prisoners have never owned a Bible and are in great need of Opening The Bible, to hear the transformative message of God’s love. In addition to this, there’s a great need and opportunity to reach out to Department of Correctional Services (DCS) Officials, who experience many challenges and among who there is a high suicide rate.

Related projects