The reports about Andrew Brunson’s release are just another example of how little the media know about evangelical churches.
The most popular verse of the year internationally asked Christians not to take the popular route and instead seek a higher moral ground.
The Bible App has been downloaded more than 162 million times, according to the app's creator, YouVersion. And unlike the print version of the immensely popularsacred text, the digital version can be mined for data.
That traceability lets YouVersion come up with a number of interesting conclusions about how users all over the world are reading the Bible.
Interest in using the Bible App surged over the past year in several surprising places. The highest amount of growth in activity -- in terms of reading, sharing, bookmarking, etc. -- was found in Israel, according to YouVersion founder Bobby Gruenewald.
After that came South Sudan, then the Republic of Suriname in South America, Iraq and Macedonia.
"What's interesting to me is that several of those countries are definitely not majority Christian," Gruenewald told HuffPost. "And in some cases, the Bible isn't that accessible or isn't considered to be acceptable culturally."
Gruenewald also found it remarkable that the most popular verse of the year internationally, Romans 12:2, asked Christians not to take the popular route and instead seek a higher moral ground.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
An infographic released by the company revealed the most popular verse by country.
In America, Brazil, and Nigeria, Philippians 4:8 came out as the frontrunner.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia were captivated by Jeremiah 29:11 this year.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Gruenewald and his team have big hopes for the future. A social network feature added in 2014 allowed users to see and comment on others' Bible activity -- making it possible for friends to have mobile Bible studies. He's hoping the feature will become increasingly popular in 2015. They're also experimenting with making it easier to share scripture using images.
"We really believe that this generation could become the most Bible-engaged generation in history," Gruenewald said.
See more conclusions from YouVersion in the shareable infographic below.