New data revealed that the rate of Americans who read the Bible are at an all-time low, despite the belief that it contains valuable lessons to live a "meaningful life."

A new survey revealed that the rate of Bible reading and usage among Americans is at its lowest. But half of Americans believe that the Bible features "everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life."

According to the American Bible Society's State of the Bible Survey that was released on Wednesday, there has been a 10% point decline in the number of Bible users among AMerican adults. In 2021, the rate was at 49%, while this year, it registered a rate of 39%. This is the lowest it has been since the institution began recording this through surveys in 2011.

The American Bible Society defines a Bible user as a person who reads, listens, or prays with the Bible on their own, independent of church service at least three to four times a year. The survey revealed that one in five Americans left the "bibl;e engaged" category in the past year.

"Nearly 26 million Americans reduced or stopped their interaction with Scripture in the past year," the report said, as per the Christian Headlines. At first, researchers thought that there was something wrong with the survey after finding the jarring results. However, they double-checked the math and samples and found that "something real" had changed among Americans.

"Beginning in 2020 and accelerating since then, Bible Users have indicated a decreased level of Spiritual Impact from the Bible," the survey results reported. "No matter how sincerely we wish they would go away, the COVID-19 pandemic, political polarization, and other disruptions are still affecting the nation."

The report also cited the Omicron variant of COVID surviving in the Southern and Midwestern states as they were collecting the data in mid-to-late January. Researchers said that the region "[tends] to be more Scripture engaged, as a population, than the rest of the nation."

Researchers also wrote that the COVID pandemic "has seriously disrupted" Americans' "relationships with church communities, which are the epicenter of these behaviors for most American Christians." But the survey results are not all bad news.

Researchers also found that 49% of respondents agreed with the statement "The Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life." Conversely, only 31% disagreed. Moreover, nearly two-thirds of respondents who seldom or never read the Bible said they were curious about it.

John Farquhar Plake, director of ministry intelligence for the American Bible Society, remarked how the research showed that when Americans read the Bible and apply its message, it "brings them hope and introduces them to full life in Christ."

Plake added that it was "disheartening" to see the millions of Americans who have "lost interest in the Bible" and how "millions more are struggling to connect Scripture to their daily lives." He called the COVID pandemic a "disruption" which end is yet undetermined, but felt hopeful that it would be a "tremendous opportunity" for church leaders and other Bible advocates to reach out to their communities and help others understand and apply Scripture.

"Now is a critical time to point our neighbors to the good news of hope found in God's Word," Plake urged.