The most popular verse in 2023 on the YouVersion Bible app is one that has brought comfort to Christians for centuries.
The verse that the global YouVersion community “highlighted, bookmarked, and shared the most” this year was Isaiah 41:10, which reads in the NIV, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
YouVersion is a free, donor-funded ministry and offers Bible App, Bible App Lite, and Bible App for Kids.
“From a global perspective, we've all been through a lot in the last few years, so it's no surprise that people continue to feel drawn to the hope and peace promised in Isaiah 41:10,” said Bobby Gruenewald, founder and CEO of YouVersion. “Even though there's a lot of fear and anxiety felt around the world, we believe faith is the answer, and it's encouraging to see people continue to cling to God and His Word in their greatest moments of need.”
Users of the app frequently searched for answers about love, peace, healing, hope, and anxiety, according to a news release.
Meanwhile, YouVersion broke several records in 2023, including for new installs. Installs increased this year by more than 100 million devices, a record number that tops the previous high from 2020 (76 million). Daily Bible use grew by 20 percent this year.
India saw a 53 percent increase in installs compared to 2022, with residents there using more than 700 versions of the Bible in 350-plus languages. In Latin America, there was a 107 percent rise in installs.
Elsewhere, the continent of Africa experienced a 98 percent increase in Bible engagement compared to 2022, with Kenya (225 percent), Cameroon (229 percent) and Uganda (288 percent) leading the way.
“Our vision is to bring God's Word to everyone, everywhere, every day, and we know we can't do it alone,” Gruenewald said. “More than ever before, we're seeing the global Church unify around God's Word, and it's exciting to think about how many more people will grow closer to God because of the passion and commitment of our partners to work together.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.