SWINDON, UK, July 3, 2017 /Christian Newswire
/ -- For the third year running, Bible Societies have distributed more than 400 million Scripture items around the world -- including more than 34 million Bibles. That's enough for more than 5% of the world's population. And since the beginning of the decade, the United Bible Societies fellowship (UBS) has distributed Scripture material for two out of every five people on the planet. The overall 2016 total -- almost 401.4 million -- includes Bibles, Testaments, Gospels and smaller Scripture items like booklets for people learning to read. It's slightly lower than 2015's total, but is up on the 2010 total by more than 34 million items.
The distribution of non-print Bibles such as digital downloads, CDs, Scripture texts and DVDs has more than doubled across the world in 2016, driven by the growing demand for Bibles on our phones and devices. More than three million non-print Bibles were distributed in 2016, up from less than 1.3 million in 2015. There's been an even sharper increase since 2010, when the Fellowship distributed less than 200,000 non-print Bibles in a year. The trend mirrors growing internet use around the world. Around 45% of the world's population now have access to the internet, and by 2020 seven out of every 10 people on the planet will own a smartphone. We spend more time on our phones than any other media.
Top five countries for the local distribution of full Bibles in 2016
• Brazil 6,773,421
• China 3,514,286
• USA 2,981,407
• Nigeria 1,965,001
• India 1,897,995
Milestone for Brazil
At the end of 2016, Bible Society of Brazil reached the milestone of 150 million Bibles and New Testaments produced at its Bible Press since 1995. It's one of the largest printing plants in the world primarily for the production of Scriptures. Executive Director Rudi Zimmer said, "In recent decades, more than in any other period, Brazilian churches have been involved in spreading the Word, making Brazil the largest field of Holy Scripture distribution around the world today."
United Bible Societies:
United Bible Societies is a global network of Bible Societies working in over 200 countries and territories across the world. Together, they are the world's biggest translator, publisher and distributor of the Bible. Bible Societies are also active in areas such as HIV/AIDS prevention, trauma healing and literacy. Bible Societies work with all Christian Churches and many international non-governmental organisations. Read more: www.unitedbiblesocieties.org.