The Bible is a closed book for most people in Canada. According to national research* conducted in 2009 in 18 cities in 9 provinces in Canada, 58.8% of Canadians say they do not read the Bible. Of the 1259 people polled, 21.5% said they didn’t know why they don’t read the Bible, 20.9% said they’re too busy, and 19% said they’re not interested. Only 3.2% of Canadians who don’t read the Bible said they didn’t have a Bible. Among church goers, many have never read the Bible from cover to cover and only a small number read the Bible daily. Simply stated – there’s a crisis!
Most Christians believe the Bible plays an essential, indispensable, and crucial role in directing Christian faith, life and practice. Many people, regardless of whether or not they’re Christians, recognise that the Bible has significantly informed and shaped Western culture. So why aren’t people reading the Bible? This question is difficult to answer because the reasons are complex. There are cultural factors like the demise of Christendom, the impact of postmodernity, secularism, and religious pluralism. And there are other factors like declining church attendance, people not feeling the need, changing priorities, scepticism and doubt.
SU Canada’s response to the decline in Bible engagement is to issue a fresh invitation to read the Story in an exciting new way – called the Essential 100 Challenge. The E100™ is based on carefully selected short Bible passages – 50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New Testament – that helps people grasp the essence of the Story and get into a Bible reading habit. Check out the E100 Challenge here.
Hear more about the crisis by clicking on the YouTube link.
* Research conducted by Scripture Gift Mission Canada
© Copyright Scripture Union Canada, 2012