Bible on Demand: What 160 Million People Searched Scripture For in 2015
With the persecution of Christians around the World, the Impact of the’Gospel of Peace’ has been massive, showing that we should NOT be under the illusion that Christianity is a thing of the past!. Never before has their been a need for YOU to rise up and ‘go ye into the world’ and ‘make desciples of ALL NATIONS. This 2015 has seen a witness of 3 Islamic Countries including Brunei and Somalia. banning Christmas for fear that the gospel of Jesus Christ is making waves!.
The governments of three countries – Somalia, Tajikistan and Brunei – have banned Christmas celebrations this year, with punishments ranging up to a five-year jail term.
Somalia issued a ban on Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in the Muslim country on Wednesday, saying the festivities “have nothing to do with Islam”.
“We warn against celebration of Christmas, which is only for Christians,” Sheikh Mohamed Kheyrow, director of Somalia’s ministry of religion, said on state radio. “This is a matter of faith. The Christmas holiday and its drum beatings have nothing to do with Islam.” He said the ministry has sent letters to the police, national security intelligence and officials in the capital Mogadishu instructing them to “prevent Christmas celebrations”.
Christian Today writes….
On February 16, one day after ISIS beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, “beheaded” was the fourth most-searched term on Bible Gateway.
The weekend after the US Supreme Court’s same-sex-marriage decision in June, searches for “homosexuality,” “abomination,” and “Sodom and Gomorrah” spiked. (So did “rainbow.”)
And in September, on the day of the total lunar eclipse, the No. 1 search was for “blood moon.”
Bible Gateway’s year-in-review data, based on 1.6 billion pageviews and more than 160 million visitors, reveals how people engaged the Bible on demand in 2015.
To start with, we tracked the popularity of Bible passages on a daily basis throughout the year. The results look a bit like a Rorschach test; but on closer observation, a few Bible-reading patterns emerge:
Most obvious is the predictable seasonal popularity of certain Bible passages, notably the Gospels at Easter. And as we’ve seen in past years, a significant number of Bible readers do make it all the way through the Bible (or a specific portion of it) by the end of the year.
Conventional wisdom (not entirely unfounded) holds that most eager Bible readers, fresh off a New Year’s resolution to read through the entire Bible, hit a wall after Genesis. But our data shows that a strong core of Bible Gateway visitors—enough to show up clearly on the data—persevere throughout the year.
That said, you may be more likely to complete a Bible reading project if you stick to something less ambitious (New or Old Testament in a year, but not both) or more focused (note the consistency of the “Proverbs in a month” reading track).
Here’s another way to look at the relative popularity of specific Bible passages in 2015:
The New Testament continues to be read with much more frequency than the Old Testament. This chart suggests that beyond the foundational accounts of Genesis and the powerful appeal of the Psalms, Christians struggle to connect much of the Old Testament to their lives today. There’s a particularly noticeable engagement gap regarding the books of the Old Testament prophets, whose words and actions are connected to specific (and lesser-known) moments in the history of Israel.
Andy Rau is content manager for BibleGateway.com.