Christianity Tops Mainstream Markets

( [email protected] ) Jan 07, 2004 03:22 PM EST

Move over secular culture, because now is the time for the culture of Christ to take over the charts. The rise of Christian products shows that Christians can influence more than just your faith.

"Mainstream culture has discovered them as a huge profit-making potential,' says Michael Cromartie, director of the Evangelical Studies Project at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Movies which advertised to church groups and Christian audiences or included Christian themes were hits. Radio-Top 10 box office list since release. The movie starred Cuba Gooding Jr. who was also in the gospel-music comedy The Fighting Temptations. The Lord of the Rings movie adaptations have been blockbusters.

Religious books make up 4 percent of the $13.2 billion book industry, according to the 2002 reports of the American Booksellers Association. The Purpose-Driven Life, written by Southern Baptist pastor Rick Warren, has resided on the Publishers Weekly hardcover nonfiction bestseller list at No.1 for 46 weeks. Christian publishing house Zondervan has joined with giant HarperCollins.

Christian music has also found its place in the mainstream. The song “As Iron Sharpens Iron” by The Procussions landed on the College Media Journal's Top 20 hip-hop chart this fall. In 2001, Market Share Reporter stated that 50 million Christian/gospel CDs were sold. This represented 7.7 percent of the market.

In radio news, James Dobson, head of the giant Focus on the Family, reached 3,000 radio facilities around the country.

Growing popularity for Christian product means more people are realizing where they can find true rest.

According to Bill Anderson, head of the Colorado Springs-based Christian Booksellers Association, Christianity is earning points in today's culture because people are "looking to root themselves in a world full of turbulence and instability."