For about a century, nearly every hotel room nationwide has included in it a copy of God's Word. Sadly, though, that's starting to change. Hotel Bibles are vanishing all across the country. And the reason? To appeal to Millenials!
How Hotel Bibles Got Their Start
Gideon Internation is responsible for the century-long practice of supplying hotel Bibles. Believe it or not, the organization has handed out more than 2 billion Bibles and New Testaments (though not just in hotels)!
The idea to give away hotel Bibles was born when two Christian salesmen from the Association ended up sharing a hotel room. They realized by putting a Gideon Bible in each hotel room, they were planting seeds for God to use in His own timing.
Gideon Internation started the program in 1908, and by 1920 Gideon had become synonymous with the free Bible distribution. And when traveling, most of us today would expect to find a Bible tucked somewhere inside our hotel room. But the scary truth is those Bibles are getting harder and harder to find.
In 2006, almost every single hotel (95%) put a Bible in their bedside drawer. And yet, according to a recent survey by a hospitality research company, that number has dropped to only 79%. In the last decade, roughly 15% of hotels have cut religious materials out of their rooms.
So, what gives?
Who's To Blame? The Millenials.
Ok, so maybe it's not entirely their fault. But with Millennials being the most targeted demographic, along with the least religious generation in American history, they're certainly having an impact.
These days, hotel chains are trying more and more to attract Millennial travelers. And apparently, that means saying goodbye to the "old" hotel Bibles and hello to "new" technology. While only 72% of hotels still have Bibles in their rooms, 98% offer in-room Wi-Fi.
In fact, when Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel company, opened two of its newest "ultra-hip: hotel brands -- Moxy and Edition hotels -- they intentionally kept Bibles out of the rooms. The reason?
"It's because the religious books don't fit the personality of the brands," said Marriott spokeswoman Felicia Farrar McLemore, explaining how these hotels are geared toward fun-loving Millennials.
With the changing times, something as simple as the presence of a Bible has become offensive to some. In fact, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has asked at least 15 major hotel companies to keep Bibles out of hotel rooms.
“We are trying to educate the hotel industry that a quarter of our population is not religious,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the group.
Sadly, given the sharp decline in hotel Bibles, it seems as though more and more chains are buying into this logic. And with our youth drifting further and further away from God, they don't need less religion. They need more!
This is clearly just another way the Enemy is at work. Christianity is clearly under attack, so let's be in prayer and work on pioneering new ways to bring God's Word to His people!
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