Magazine article The Christian Century

More Know Potter Than Left Behind or Jabez

Magazine article The Christian Century

More Know Potter Than Left Behind or Jabez

Article excerpt

Americans in general are much more aware of the popular Harry Potter book series than two best-selling books that reflect conservative evangelical views--the Left Behind series and The Prayer of Jabez, according to a Barna Research survey.

More than two-thirds of all adults (69 percent) say they have heard of the Harry Potter books by British author J. K. Rowling, and for born-again Christians the figure is 72 percent. The four books in the fictional series, sometimes the target of evangelical critics for their occult fantasies, have sold an estimated 24 million copies.

But the "last days"--themed Left Behind novels, co-written by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, have sold more than 45 million copies of the eight existing volumes and special versions for younger readers. The ninth installment was published on October 30. Despite setting publishing records, only 24 percent of all adults and 42 percent of born-again Christians were aware of the books in a nationwide random poll of 1,003 adults in May.

Bruce Wilkinson's small book The Prayer of Jabez has hit sales above 5 million copies in less than two years, but the Barna poll found that only 13 percent of all adults have heard of it. …

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