In the thick of COVID-19 concerns, Bible publishing companies report increased sales, The Christian Post reports.
From March 2019 to last month, there was a “considerable increase” in Bible sales by Tyndale House Publishers, a Christian publisher based in Carol Stream, Illinois.
Tyndale executive Jim Jewell noted that sales from Life Application Study Bibles went up 44% and 60% for Immerse Bibles.
Jewel believes concerns over COVID-19 “has upended almost everyone’s lives in some way,” in Tuesday’s interview with The Christian Post.
“It's not surprising that people turn to the comfort and clarity of the Bible in times of trouble and uncertainty,” he said.
Additionally, Tyndale reports that engagement on its New Living Translations Facebook page – home to Bible verse memes – has tripled since last March and is up 72% from just last month.
Increased traffic – be it social media engagement or sales – in times of crisis is not something new to Tyndale. According to The Christian Post, Jewell reported that in the month following 9/11, Tyndale Bible sales were up by 57% from the October before the attack.
Alabaster Co., a Bible publisher known for its visually artistic individual books of the Bibles, has also seen an increase in sales.
In an interview with Fox News, Alabaster co-founder Brian Chung shared that sales have risen by 143% from last year.
Chung believes that the sales jump occurred because “people are looking for hope and restoration” amid a time of crisis.
“Even amidst suffering and financial hardship we've continued to see people engage with Alabaster by utilizing our free resources and purchasing Bibles as encouraging gifts for loved ones,” Chung shared.
“We believe people are buying Bibles because there’s a longing to connect with God, find meaning, and experience peace.”
LifeWay Christian Resources also saw an increase in sales of 62 percent last week compared to the previous year.
"We believe this is no accident, as people often go to the Bible as a source of hope in times of crisis and uncertainty," said Ben Mandrell, LifeWay CEO. "People draw hope from Scripture because in it they see a God who is with us during our suffering.
“The Bible, as God's words to us, is a reminder that He doesn't leave us to walk through difficult times alone,” Mandrell added.
In a preliminary draft of a paper titled “In Crisis, We Pray: Religiosity and the COVID-19 Pandemic,” associate professor Jeanet Sinding Bentzen found that “search intensity for prayer doubles for every 80,000 new registered cases of COVID-19.”
“In times of crisis, humans have a tendency to turn to religion for stress relief and explanation. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic is no exception,” wrote Bentzen.
“I document that Google searches on prayer has skyrocketed during the month of March 2020 when COVID-19 went global.”
Bentzen added that faith-related searches “surged to the highest level during the past five years for which comparative Google search data is available, surpassing all other major events that otherwise instigate intensified demand for prayer, such as Christmas, Easter, and Ramadan.”
“Even Denmark, one of the least religious countries in the world, sees systematic increases in internet searches on prayer,” she noted.
Photo courtesy: Aaron Burden/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.