Costa Ricans Celebrate 'Day of the Bible'
Colorful parades and festivities throughout Mexico and Central America marked the region's Independence Day celebrations this September.
At the same time, Hispanic Christians found another reason to celebrate.
Spanish-speaking Christians received their first printed Bible over four centuries ago, in September of 1969.
It became known as the "Bible of the Bear" because the cover showed a bear eating from a honeycomb.
Today Bibles are found in 885 of all hispanic households.
Yet according to a recent Barna study, very few hispanics read the Bible on a regular basis.
Only 8 percent compared to 21 percent of the general population.
Church leaders around the America's see a growing problem of Bible illiteracy.
In Costa Rica one congressman decided to promote Bible reading by donating a Bible to each of his fellow legislators.
"I believe that it was worth commemorating this way, giving each congressman a Bible and telling him, this is the book we need as a manual for life," Congressman Fabricio Alvarado Congressman said.
For the past 14 years Costa Rica has celebrated the day of the Bible each September, officially for the purpose of strengthening the country's moral and spiritual values.
"We believe that the Word of God is a blessing for Costa Rica, and the closer it becomes to those of us who govern the country, the better off our country will be," Congressman Marion Redondo said.
By drawing attention to the Bible this month, Bible societies and church leaders hope to reverse the decline in Bible readership.