Bible reading increases in US following release of the Passion
People in the US are reading the Bible more as a result of Mel Gibson's controversial movie "The Passion of the Christ" according to a Beliefnet.com poll, which was sponsored by Zondervan, the world's largest Bible publisher.
75% of people also believe that the film was "very close" to the Bible's account of Jesus' death. 15 percent responded "somewhat close" and five percent answered "not close at all." Another 5 percent said they weren't sure.
This is a question that has been debated frequently in public in the last few days, with a judge in France finding that the biblical text was not manipulated in the film but a catholic Bishop suggesting that it presented an "incomplete theological picture".
Sixty-two percent of all respondents answered "yes" to the question, "Are you reading the Bible more as a result of the movie 'The Passion of the Christ?'"
The poll also found that 41 percent of respondents had a more positive view of the Bible as a result of the movie, while 53 percent said their view of the Bible hadn't changed and 5 percent said they weren't sure.
One percent of the respondents said they had a more negative view of the Bible as a result of the movie.
More than 12,000 people took the Zondervan-sponsored poll between March 5 and March 25 on Beliefnet.com, an independent, multi-faith Web site. Zondervan is the largest Bible publisher in the world, distributing and selling 7 million Bibles per year.