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Christian Mass Media Reaches Adults in Surprising Numbers **


(Baptist Press) -- More adults experience the Christian faith through

Christian media, such as radio, television or books, than by attending

Christian churches, according to a new study by the Barna Research

Group. The survey found that 63 percent of American adults attended a

church service during the previous month, while 67 percent of Americans

tuned in to Christian radio or television or read a Christian book other

than the Bible.


Christian radio is the fastest-growing medium for spreading the faith,

with slightly more than half the nation’s adults saying they had tuned

in to a Christian radio program of some type during the previous month.

Also, the number of radio stations utilizing a Christian music format

has made the Christian music genre one of the fastest-growing categories

in the music industry during the past two years, according to

researchers. Christian television draws a significant number of American

adults as well, with 43 percent claiming to have watched some Christian

programming on TV during the previous month.


Thirty-three percent of adults said they read a Christian book other

than the Bible during the previous month. Several Christian titles, such

as the "Left Behind" series by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, the Jabez

series by Bruce Wilkerson, and business books by John Maxwell, are among

the country’s top-selling books.


Researchers were surprised to learn that 44 percent of Americans who are

associated with a non-Christian faith were reached by Christian media in

the prior month. One-third of those who described themselves as either

"atheist" or "agnostic" admitted to listening, watching or reading

something related to the Christian faith. Researcher George Barna

observed that large numbers of the atheists, agnostics and adults

aligned with non-Christian faiths intentionally absorb information from

the Christian media in an effort to learn more about the faith. More

information may be obtained at www.barna.org.

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