Bible providers and publishing companies have seen a dramatic spike in sales over the past months, more than likely linked to fears concerning the pandemic. One publisher reports an increase of up to 66% in Bible sales in the month of March.
Tyndale House Publishers in Illinois reports that Bible sales compared to March 2019 have increased significantly. Its Life Application Study Bible sales increased 44% while sales of the Immerse Bible went up 60%.
Director of brand communications Jim Jewell is not all that surprised with the numbers. “It’s not surprising that people turn to the comfort and clarity of the Bible in times of trouble and uncertainty,” he says.
He also reveals that the month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, “Tyndale Bible sales were 57% higher than October of 2000.” It’s not uncommon for people to turn to the Bible during times of national crisis.
The company’s Facebook page for the New Living Translation where it posts Bible verse memes has also experienced more engagement. Jewell says “engagement was triple what it was last March and up 72% from just last month.”
Another publishing company in California is also experiencing an increase in Bible sales. Alabaster Co. sells individual books of the Bible packaged with beautiful art and aesthetic features.
Co-founder Brian Chung says the company has seen a 143% boost in sales compared to last year. Chung believes people are purchasing their Bibles because they are “looking for hope and restoration.”
“Even amidst suffering and financial hardship we’ve continued to see people engage with Alabaster by utilizing our free resources and purchasing Bibles as encouraging gifts for loved ones,” Chung says. “We believe people are buying Bibles because there’s a longing to connect with God, find meaning, and experience peace.”
According to Jeanet Sinding Bentzen at the University of Copenhagen, online searches for the word “prayer” have increased as well. She discovered that “search intensity for prayer doubles for every 80,000 new registered cases of COVID-19.”
“In times of crisis, humans have a tendency to turn to religion for stress relief and explanation. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic is no exception,” Bentzen wrote in a draft of her forthcoming paper.
“I document that Google searches on prayer has skyrocketed during the month of March 2020 when the COVID-19 went global,” she continued.
Bentzen also added that Denmark, “one of the least religious countries in the world,” is seeing “systematic increases in internet searches on prayer.”