YouVersion’s Top Searched Bible Phrases Tell the Story of 2020

The Bible App trends that stood out in this unusual year

In a year marked by uncertainty and turmoil, more people than ever turned to the Bible for hope. In fact, the YouVersion Community completed nearly 600 million searches within the app in 2020, an 80% increase over the previous year. With record-breaking levels of Bible engagement in the app this year, the 2020 YouVersion Verse of the Year is Isaiah 41:10: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

“This has been a challenging year with many people facing devastating loss, loneliness, and fear,” 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. Through every hardship, people continue to seek God and turn to the Bible for strength, peace and hope.”

Early in the year, people most frequently searched the Bible App for phrases like “new year,” “bible in a year,” “faith,” and “fasting.” In mid-March as COVID-19 accelerated, the number one search term was “fear.” Soon after, the fastest growing search terms week-over-week were words like “peace,” “hope,” and “faith” as the pandemic continued.

Trending Bible App searches also included “justice,” which rose to the top in late May, and again in late August and late September. The search terms “healing,” “peace,” and “love” were consistently among the top results throughout the year. To see a progression of the top words and phrases people searched within the Bible App throughout the year, view the 2020 YouVersion Bible App Search Trends at app.bible.com/e/2020-search-trends.

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“These top search terms really show what’s been weighing on the hearts and minds of people around the world at key points throughout the year,” said Gruenewald. “They reveal how people are seeking God as they wrestle with the difficult circumstances they’ve faced in 2020, and that’s something we can celebrate.”

As some churches temporarily paused physical services to stop the spread of COVID-19, many people used digital tools to connect with God, including the Bible App. With 43.6 billion Bible chapters read, 7.5 billion audio chapters played, and 1.4 billion Bible Plan days completed, the YouVersion Bible App saw its highest levels of global Bible engagement in app history.

YouVersion also experienced record-breaking growth for the Bible App for Kids, which was developed in partnership with OneHope. In 2020 alone, the app was installed on more than 22 million unique devices, totaling more than 60 million devices worldwide. Kids from around the world have completed more than 170 million Bible App for Kids Stories this year, which is a 90% increase over the previous record set in 2019. With eight languages added this year, children can now experience the animated Bible stories and interactive games in 60 different languages.

For more information about YouVersion Bible App trends in 2020, visit https://app.bible.com/e/2020.