CHRISTIANITY DAILY

One Quarter of American Teens Read Bible at Least Once Per Week, Reveals Barna Study

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A significant proportion of American teens read Bible regularly, and say that it has everything a person needs to live a meaningful life, according to a recent Barna study.

A new research on teens commissioned by the American Bible Society and carried out by Barna revealed that about 70 percent of teenagers in America own a personal Bible.

One of the remarkable findings of the survey was that a quarter of teens read the Bible at least once each week. Of them, 3 percent read it every day, 11 percent read the Bible several times or more than 4 times per week, and another 11 percent read it once a week.

Some 37 percent say they never read the Bible.

"American teens sometimes get a bad rap as being uninterested or even anti-faith," said Arthur Satterwhite, senior manager at American Bible Society. "But today's Teen State of the Bible report shows that a majority of America's teens have respect for and interest in the Bible."

A significant majority (86 percent) of teens said that the Bible was a sacred book for them. Those who did not identify themselves as Christian were also more likely to choose Bible as the Holy book (61 percent).

The proportion of teenagers who very rarely read the Bible was small compared to the two extremes. About 9 percent of teenagers said they read it once a month, while 10 percent managed to read it only three or four times a year.

As many as 36 percent of teens spent 15-29 minutes reading the Bible, while 22 percent spend 30 to 44 minutes on it. About 7 percent of the teens read the Bible for one hour or more. About 31 percent read the text for less than 15 minutes.

A majority of Bible readers (54 percent) said that they read Scripture to bring them closer to God. Some 12 percent said they read the Bible because they think they are supposed to, 8 percent said they read it for comfort, and another 6 percent said they read the Bible because they need direction for their lives. About 11 percent said they read it for other reasons.

A majority (70 percent) of teens read the Bible in print version, or while attending a small group Bible study (50 percent). About 46 percent use their cell phones to search for Bible verses, 35 percent searched for the scripture online, and some 33 percent used a Bible app on smartphones.

About 16 percent of teens listened to audio Bibles, and an equal proportion listen to Bible sermon podcasts.

About 96 percent of practicing Protestants and 67 percent of practicing Catholics said that the Bible was a source of hope and guidance for them. Only 44 percent of non-practicing Christians agreed with that. A significant proportion (35 percent) of teens said that the Bible helps them to live a meaningful life.

"Many teens are recognizing that the Bible speaks to the complete human experience -- the struggles and trials and triumphs of life," said Satterwhite. "American Bible Society will continue to develop tools and resources to help teens dive into God's Word and experience its life-changing message."

The survey was conducted on 1,013 teens in the age group of 13-17 years, across the US, between May 6 and 23.

Tags American Bible Society, Barna Research

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