Reading the Bible has given Christians hope during the pandemic - survey

(Photo: Unsplash/Andrik Langfield)

Reading the Bible during the pandemic has given Christians hope in God and their future, a survey by the Bible Society has found.

In the poll, carried out by Christian Research, some 42% said that reading their Bible had given them an increased sense of hope in God during the crisis, a figure that rose to around half (49%) of 45- to 54-year-olds. 

Over a quarter (28%) said it had increased their confidence in the future, while nearly two thirds (63%) said that reading the Bible had enabled their confidence to remain the same instead of dipping. 

Just under a quarter (23%) credited the Bible with increasing their mental wellbeing, rising to nearly half (47%) of 24- to 34-year-olds.  

A third of 16- to 24-year-olds said that reading the Bible had helped them to feel less lonely.

Twenty-three per cent of those surveyed said that the Bible had increased their mental wellbeing, rising to 47 per cent among 24 to 34-year-olds.

Over a third (35%) of respondents reported reading their Bibles more during the pandemic, with the biggest rise occurring among 25- to 34-year-olds (53%). 

The survey discovered that Christians are also reading their Bible more often than before, with half saying they are reading it daily and a quarter 'multiple times a day'. 

Over a quarter (27%) of 25- to 34-year-olds and around a third (32%) of 35 to 44-year-olds reported turning to the Bible several times a day.

Over half (59%) said that they now watched more Bible-related videos or had started watching them.

"It's encouraging to see that the Bible is giving people hope and confidence," said Dr Andrew Ollerton, author of the Bible Society's online Bible Course.

"The Bible has the ability to stand over our circumstances as something solid, a reference point in uncertain times. It's like having felt all at sea, and then having a rock to stand on.

"Mental health is so important and the Scriptures are a source of endurance and wellbeing."