Record number of Bibles distributed by Bible Societies in 2014
2014 saw the highest number of printed Bibles ever distributed by Bible Societies around the world. Nearly 34 million full Bibles were distributed, a rise of 6% over 2013’s figures.The figures are taken from the United Bible Societies’ Scripture Distribution Report, produced annually, which compiles Scripture distribution figures reported by Bible Societies.
More than two million Scriptures were distributed in non-print Scripture items, including CDs, DVDs, mp3s, texts and internet downloads.
The region reporting the highest distribution in 2014, consistent with previous years, is the Americas, with 341.5 million Scriptures, including 14.4 million full Bibles. This region has seen significant year-on-year increases in Scripture distribution in the first five years of the decade, its 2014 figure nearly 20% higher than 2010’s.
Distribution in Brazil increases due to World Cup
Far more Scriptures were distributed in Brazil than in any other country in the world. Its 7.6 million full Bibles account for more than half of the total Bible distribution in the Americas, and more than a fifth of last year’s global Bible distribution. In total, the Bible Society of Brazil distributed 288.7 million Scriptures – more than two thirds of the global total.
Although Brazil’s distribution figures have always been high, largely due to the Bible Society’s comprehensive program of social outreach and its good relationship with all churches, last year’s figures were partly boosted by the many thousands of Scriptures handed out during the FIFA World Cup.
“Brazilians are football mad, and the World Cup was a wonderful opportunity to share God’s Word with the many football fans who were celebrating the tournament,” comments Bible Society Executive Director Dr Rudi Zimmer.
Significant rises in Syria and Ukraine
The rises happened in some surprising places. More than five times the number of Testaments were distributed in war-torn Syria in 2014 than in 2010, before the conflict began. And, in the midst of one of the most difficult years in Ukraine’s recent history, last year the Bible Society there distributed nearly 70,000 New Testaments – 48% more than in 2012 and 10 times more than in 2010.
Source: United Bible Societies, Andrea Rhodes