2020’s Most-Read Bible Verse: ‘Do Not Fear’

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In an uncertain and difficult year, a record number of people searched for healing, fear, and justice.

During the hardest moments of a particularly difficult year, Bible searches soared online, and a record number of people turned to Scripture for passages addressing fear, healing, and justice. The popular YouVersion Bible App saw searches increase by 80 percent in 2020, totaling nearly 600 million worldwide.

Isaiah 41:10 ranked as the most searched, read, and bookmarked verse on the app: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

“Through every hardship, people continue to seek God and turn to the Bible for strength, peace, and hope,” said YouVersion founder Bobby Gruenewald. “While 2020 is a year so many say they’d like to forget, we see it as a year to remember how God used the Bible App to help so many people who are searching for answers.”

Bible searches spiked corresponding to major events, with “fear” becoming the app’s top search term in the first few months of the year, “justice” in the spring, and “healing” trending throughout the year.

The Bible Gateway site reported similar search trends. Pandemic-related verses about God taking away sickness got around 90 times more queries than average when US COVID-19 lockdowns began in March.

The site also saw queries related to racism, justice, and oppression spike to 100 times the average in the week following George Floyd’s death, and verses related to government authority up at least 50 times the average on Election Day.

While John 3:16 and Jeremiah 29:11 topped the Bible Gateway rankings for the top verses—as they have in most years—2 Chronicles 7:14 jumped up …

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