YouVersion’s 2023 Verse of the Year spotlights a widespread search for peace
Bible engagement accelerated worldwide this year with record-breaking app installs and daily use
OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 27, 2023)—This year, daily Bible use and installs of the YouVersion Family of Apps, which includes Bible App, Bible App Lite, and Bible App for Kids, increased at higher rates than ever before. Throughout this record-breaking year, the verse that the global YouVersion Community engaged with most was:
“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.” Isaiah 41:10
This is the third year since 2020 that Isaiah 41:10 has earned the top spot of YouVersion’s Verse of the Year, which reflects the verse people highlighted, bookmarked, and shared the most. The verse also corresponds with the needs expressed in 2023’s top in-app searches as people around the world consistently turned to the Bible for answers about love, peace, hope, healing, and anxiety.
“From a global perspective, we’ve all been through a lot in the last few years, so it’s no surprise that people continue to feel drawn to the hope and peace promised in Isaiah 41:10,” said Bobby Gruenewald, Founder and CEO of YouVersion. “Even though there’s a lot of fear and anxiety felt around the world, we believe faith is the answer, and it’s encouraging to see people continue to cling to God and His Word in their greatest moments of need.”
Bible Engagement Acceleration
Across its Family of Apps, YouVersion saw Bible engagement surge worldwide throughout 2023. Every month this year ranked among the all-time highest months in YouVersion’s 15-year history for both installs and daily use. Specifically, installs increased this year by more than 100 million devices while the previous record from 2020 was 76 million installs in one year. Also, compared to 2022, daily Bible use grew by 20% this year, representing about 12 million people engaging in the Bible each day.
“Throughout this year, we’ve seen our global community engage with Scripture at impressively high rates,” said Gruenewald. “From what we’re seeing, this isn’t just a momentary surge but something that will last. We anticipate an even greater level of excitement around Bible engagement in the years to come.”
When YouVersion launched in 2008, it began with Bible text available in English and Spanish, creating a community that was largely based in North America. Since then, it’s evolved into a global ministry that’s still experiencing significant growth in daily Bible use in North America while also reaching new people worldwide. In fact, more than 80% of YouVersion installs happened outside of the United States in 2023 with India, Africa, and Latin America standing out most.
In 2023, India was one of the fastest-growing regions for the YouVersion Family of Apps with a 53% increase in installs compared to last year. As people in India installed and used YouVersion apps this year, they represented a diverse group within the global YouVersion Community as they engaged with more than 700 versions of the Bible in more than 350 languages. Children in India also engaged with Scripture at higher rates this year. The Bible App for Kids, which is available in 69 languages like Hindi and Bengali, saw a 131% increase in daily use in India as children engaged with the Bible through interactive animations and fun activities.
YouVersion also saw a boom in Bible engagement in Africa throughout 2023, especially in daily use. Across the continent, daily Bible use was up 98% compared to last year, and several countries saw triple-digit growth including Kenya (225%), Cameroon (229%), and Uganda (288%). This growth was partially due to the October 2022 launch of Bible App Lite, which was designed to help people access God’s Word in areas with device and data limitations. In a little more than a year, the lite app was installed 17.2 million times in Africa alone. In Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bible App Lite even hit the number one spot in the Google Play Store ahead of other popular apps like TikTok, Whats App, Facebook, and Instagram.
In Latin America, YouVersion saw remarkable year-over-year growth with a 107% rise in installs across the region and exceptional increases in several countries, including Uruguay (129%), Argentina (156%), and Venezuela (396%). With a concentrated effort to expand Spanish content offerings, YouVersion worked with about 475 Spanish-speaking partners to launch nearly 1,000 new Spanish Bible Plans in 2023. These important partnerships also made it possible for Bible App Lite to launch in Latin America in early November 2023. The lite app, which is now available in 14 languages, has seen early success in Latin America with nearly half a million installs in the first month.
Reaching Around the World
As a free, donor-funded ministry, YouVersion works alongside more than 4,660 partners globally to provide Bible text and quality biblical content to people in as many languages as possible. With the generous help of Bible societies and publishers in countries around the world, YouVersion was able to add more than 200 versions of the Bible in 100 new languages this year. With these additions, the Bible App surpassed 3,000 Bible versions in 2,000 languages, which is an important milestone in helping more people access the Bible in their native tongue and engage with Scripture on a deeper level. Beyond Bible text, YouVersion also works with these global partners to offer devotional content through more than 30,000 Bible Plans in 84 languages.
“Our vision is to bring God’s Word to everyone, everywhere, every day, and we know we can’t do it alone,” said Gruenewald. “More than ever before, we’re seeing the global Church unify around God’s Word, and it’s exciting to think about how many more people will grow closer to God because of the passion and commitment of our partners to work together.”
For more information and visuals of the global YouVersion Community’s Bible engagement trends in 2023, visit www.youversion.com/share2023.
Created by Life.Church, YouVersion designs free, biblically centered experiences that encourage and challenge people to seek God throughout each day. The YouVersion Family of Apps—including the Bible App, Bible App Lite, and Bible App for Kids—has been installed on more than 725 million devices worldwide. The Bible App offers a Bible experience in more than 2,000 languages and helps people deepen their relationship with God. Bible App Lite is optimized for offline use and helps people access God’s Word in markets with device and data limitations. Bible App for Kids, developed in partnership with OneHope, helps children engage with the Bible through interactive animations and fun activities. For more information about YouVersion, visit youversion.com.