Nine years ago, YouVersion’s Bible app was one of the first 200 free apps in the brand-new Apple App Store. Within seven years, it had been downloaded 200 million times. In 2017, the Bible app reached 300 million installs.
“We believe the Bible is an enduring source of courage and strength,” stated Life.Church innovation pastor and YouVersion Bible app founder Bobby Gruenewald. “We are encouraged to see from this year’s data that people all over the world are finding hope in God’s Word.”
The app offered 1,656 versions of the Bible in 1,186 languages in 2017, up from 1,200 in 2015. Working with about 10 major Bible translation agencies—including Wycliffe Bible Translators, Pioneer Bible Translators, and the United Bible Societies—YouVersion is part of a movement to translate the Bible into 99.9 percent of the world’s languages by 2033.
That collaboration among Bible translation agencies, led by major donors, has inspired givers and revolutionized the industry.
“We are at a pivotal point in history,” Gruenewald stated. “In recent years, technology has made it possible to accelerate Bible translation like never before. There’s incredible momentum around this effort that we know won’t stop until every person has Scripture available in their heart language.”
The Bible app has been downloaded in every country, growing the most last year in Angola (up 733%), Mozambique (243%), Slovakia (235%), and India (228%). Downloads accelerated just as fast in areas that are friendly to Christianity (131% in Brazil) as those that are more hostile (155% in Iraq).
Last year, Bible app users shared verses 222 million times and highlighted, bookmarked, or noted them 1.4 billion times. In other words, every second an average of 10.8 verses were shared, 42.3 were highlighted, and 2.8 were bookmarked.
The world’s favorite verse this year—measured by how often it was highlighted, shared, and bookmarked—was Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
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Source: Christianity Today