(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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