Young people from New Zealand still read the Bible on paper according to a recent survey. The Nielsen survey, commissioned by the Bible Society of New Zealand, showed that 87 percent of youth who read the Bible prefer the printed version.
The 196 respondents in the 13 to 18 age group considered themselves Christians who read the Bible in the last year. 83 percent had their own copy while 16 percent used a Bible shared by their family.
Bible Society chief executive Francis Burdett found the results encouraging but there were also a few concerns. According to the report published by the group, 90 percent of the respondents had Christian parents and a quarter of them attended a Christian school. 72 percent attended church regularly.
"We discovered high rates of regular Bible reading among the sample group and we found out just how important family members are in teaching them to read it," Burdett told NZ Catholic.
Parents were the most influential in teaching the youth to read the Bible, according to the report. 68 percent of the respondents were taught by parents, followed by 38 percent who were taught by a Church leader or Sunday school teacher. 29 percent of the respondents pointed towards their youth leader and pastor. The respondents were allowed to select more than one option for the question.
Nearly three out of 10 young readers admitted that they did not find the Bible encouraging or inspiring. "We also found a generation of 18-year-olds who are attending church less and becoming increasingly disillusioned with the Bible - saying the Bible is challenging, overwhelming and pointless," Burdett added.
Time also played a factor in the Bible-reading habits of young Kiwis. 32 percent of the respondents admitted that they do not have enough time to read the Bible. 62 percent said that they wished they could read it more.
The Bible Society is currently producing reading materials and training programs for the youth to deal with the challenges posed by the results of the survey.