This Easter Season Americans Are Voicing Strong Support for Bible Access

New Report Finds That, While 98 Percent of Americans Support Universal Access to the Bible, Only 21 Percent Understand the Current State of Bible Availability

This Easter season, a new report provides evidence of overwhelming support among Americans for global access to the Bible. American Bible Society’s 2015 State of the Bible report found that 98 percent of Americans surveyed believe every person in the world should have the freedom to own and read a Bible.

At the same time, the report conducted by Barna Group found that Americans are largely ignorant about the current state of Bible access among much of the world’s population. More than seven out of 10 Americans—72 percent—mistakenly believe that the Bible is currently available in all of the world’s languages. Only 21 percent of Americans surveyed recognize there are still languages in the world without a Bible translation.

“Eighty-eight percent of American households own at least one Bible, with the average household owning about four copies,” said Geof Morin, executive vice president of ministry mobilization at American Bible Society. “Unfortunately, many around the world do not enjoy this same opportunity. And while the overwhelming majority of Americans have access to the Bible in their native language, the same cannot be said for many in the rest of the world.”

Of the world’s 6,901 languages actively used as first languages, only 531 have a complete Bible translation. Bible translation is currently underway in an additional 2,195 languages, but some 1,859 remain untouched.

Click the Image to View Full Graphic

In addition to the hurdle of incomplete or missing language translations, “there are many reasons why millions are still without access to the Bible, from war to political oppression, poverty to illiteracy,” said Morin. “That is why American Bible Society is working to see 100 percent of the world’s active languages translated and 100 million people in the United States actively engaged with Scripture—we call it our 100/100 vision.”

Graphics of these findings are available at StateOfTheBible.org

*Other languages have completed Scripture portions, but no plans underway for a complete Bible translation. 

Survey Methodology:

The State of the Bible 2015 report contains the findings from a nationwide study commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research (a division of Barna Group). Two research methodologies were used for the study; one included 1,010 telephone interviews (including cell phone interviews) with adults in the continental U.S., while the second study consisted of 1,000 online surveys using a nationally representative panel. The use of two methodologies provided a larger sample size for key questions and ensured even greater representation among all age groups. The telephone interviews were conducted Jan. 8 – 20, 2015, and included U.S. adults 18 years of age or older. The online surveys were conducted between Feb. 3 and Feb. 11, 2015.

About American Bible Society:

Since 1816, American Bible Society has worked to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation’s first and most enduring ministries, today’s American Bible Society provides resources across a variety of platforms enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time. For more information, visit AmericanBible.org.

-30-