More than 23 million Bibles are needed in South Africa, according to recent research conducted by the research company Ipsos. Some 44% of South African Christian households indicated that they did not need additional Bibles, whilst 46,7% still need between one and three Bibles for members of their household.
According to this research 68,8% of the South African population that are 15 years and older belong to the Christian faith. Just over a quarter of the population (25,4%) who are 15 years and older, do not belong to any religious group.
The Bible remains very relevant to most Christians in the country. On the scale of one to 10, where 10 represents most relevant, the findings show that 64,9% of respondents rated the importance of the Bible in their lives between 8 and 10. The majority of Christians in the country (79,1%) already own one or more Bibles. Yet there are 5,5% of Christians who do not own a Bible at all.
South African Christians (62,4%) still prefer to read newspapers, magazines and books in print format. A further 21,7% however, indicated that they do not only read printed material, but also utilise digital formats. Another 3% indicated that they only read in digital format.
Commenting on these findings, Rev Dirk Gevers, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bible Society of South Africa (BSSA), said: "Our Bible Society commemorates its 196th anniversary this month. We are deeply grateful to God for what he has enabled the BSSA to accomplish through Bible translation, production and distribution over the years. Much has been accomplished but much needs to be done to ensure that everyone who wants a Bible will be able to receive one. The Ipsos research cofirms that the Bible remains relevant in South Africa today."
The Bible Society of South Africa was founded in Cape Town on 23 August 1820 as an auxiliary society of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Today the Bible Society of South Africa operates as a non-profit company.