For the third year in a row, Isaiah 41:10 is the most popular verse of the year, according to YouVersion. An Old Testament passage that offers a promise of hope and comfort.
As the end of the year approaches, retrospectives and questioning are in order. Like other apps, like Spotify, the Bible app YouVersion shared the verse that was the most popular in 2023 with its users. For the third year in a row, it is Isaiah 41:10, a verse that brings hope and comfort.
"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; do not be anxious, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Bobby Gruenewald, founder and CEO of YouVersion, highlights the importance of this verse in a difficult global context. “From a global perspective, we have all been through a lot in recent years, so it is not surprising that people continue to feel drawn to the hope and peace promised in Isaiah 41:10,” did he declare.
He adds that in the face of difficulties, "faith is the answer" and says he is encouraged by seeing "people continue to cling to God and His Word in times when they need it most."
12 million people read the Bible every day in 2023
In a press release, YouVersion also states that user engagement with the app has never been higher than this year. “Each month this year ranked among the highest months of all time in YouVersion’s 15-year history, both in terms of installs and daily usage,” the document states.
Installations of the app have indeed increased with more than 100 million installations in 2023. The previous record was reached in 2020 with 76 million installations. Also, YouVersion reports that compared to 2022, daily Bible usage increased by 20%, meaning 12 million people read the Bible every day this year.
“Throughout this year, we have seen our global community engage with the Scriptures at an incredibly high rate,” said Gruenewald, adding that according to their estimates, “this is not just a momentary surge but of something that will last."
“We anticipate an even greater level of enthusiasm around biblical engagement in the years to come.”
53% increase in app installs in India
When YouVersion was founded in 2008, it offered biblical content in English and Spanish, with a community primarily based in North America. The app has since been translated into other languages and today, more than 80% of YouVersion installs take place outside the United States. In 2023, India, Africa and Latin America are the countries where it is used the most.
In 2023, India has become one of the fastest growing regions for the YouVersion family of apps, with a 53% increase in installs compared to last year. Indian children are also interacting more with scriptures. The Bible App for Kids, available in 69 languages, has seen an increase of 131% in the country.
YouVersion also indicates that it has observed “a boom in biblical engagement in Africa throughout 2023, particularly in its daily use”. Across the African continent, daily Bible use has increased by 98% compared to last year, and several countries have seen exponential growth. This is the case of Kenya (225%), Cameroon (229%) and Uganda (288%).
Significant growth can be explained by the launch in October 2022 of Bible App Lite, an app designed to make the Scriptures accessible in areas where internet connection is limited.
“More than ever, we see the global Church uniting around the Word of God, and it is exciting to think of how many people will come closer to God through the passion and commitment of our partners to work together,” said Bobby Gruenewald.
Camille Westphal Perrier