American Bible Society

New York, NY

— In a recent survey conducted by the American Bible Society, 70% of 12-15-year-olds surveyed said there are correlations between the messages of the Bible and the way they apply those messages to their lives. Dr. Paul Irwin, president of American Bible Society, explained: "We conducted the survey to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the role the Bible plays in the lives of teens in America. All of us were very excited to see, and have reinforced, the important role parents play in introducing the Bible to children at a young age."

This survey showed African American teenagers as the most likely to consult the Bible’s message as a guide for living. More than 1,600 12-18 year olds participated in a six question survey conducted by Weekly Reader Research on behalf of the American Bible Society.

The survey also revealed these newfound statistics:

  • 51% surveyed were introduced to the Bible by their parents, with African American (60%) and Hispanic teens (50%) leading among the surveyed ethnic groups.
  • 18% of teens claim a pastor or a priest introduced them to the Bible; 12.5% were introduced by a youth leader.
  • Roughly 56% of the respondents were introduced to messages of the Bible before age 10. Children who read the Bible before age 10 were more likely to read the Bible regularly as teenagers.
  • More than half the teens surveyed read the Bible daily, weekly, on Sunday, or "sometimes"; and of that group, an estimated 6% of the 30.2 million 12-to-18-year-olds in the U.S. read the Bible daily (with no significant age, race or gender differences).

Teens in Times of Crisis

Another major finding in the survey is how teens are likely to turn to the Bible in times of crisis; and girls are significantly more likely to do so.

About 58.9 % of girls, compared to 52% of boys, are most likely to read the Bible when "a family member or friend is sick or dying."

When asked if they read the Bible "when they are depressed or feeling down," 52.2% of girls turn to it, versus 44.4% of boys surveyed.

Teens & Sex

When asked if they turned to the Bible for education about sex and sexuality, 21% of all teens answered yes. Among those who said yes, 29% were African American and 20% were Caucasian.

Those surveyed were a representative study of the U.S. population of teens: 16% of respondents African American, 15% Hispanic/Latino, and 51% male.

These incidences are identical to the US Census Bureau’s population statistics.


Founded in 1816 and headquartered in New York City, the American Bible Society’s mission is to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so that all people may experience its life-changing message. The American Bible Society Web site is http://www.BIBLES.org/

Weekly Reader Research is the premier pre-teen and teen survey research organization providing clients with a continuous stream of insights into the thoughts, attitudes and beliefs of America’s pre-teens and teens. To learn more about Weekly Reader Research, please go to http://www.weeklyreaderresearch.com/ .

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