The Christmas Story Goes Viral

Dec 11, 2012, 09:30 ET from

EDMOND, Okla., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Every Christmas season, NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, helps ordinary citizens track Santa's progress as he delivers gifts to good little boys and girls around the world.

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Now, for the first time, you'll also be able to track the beloved story that gave birth to the season.

This holiday,, the makers of YouVersion, the free Bible App already downloaded on 71 million smartphones and tablets, are keeping a running tally of everyone who reads the story of the birth of Jesus, worldwide, and you can follow the throng at

Every time a reader clicks on the story, a star lights up on the site's world map and the ticker grows by one more soul.

YouVersion already offers more than 400 versions of the Good Book available free in over 200 different languages, and there seems to be no end in sight. "We're literally reading the Bible like never before anytime and anywhere with millions of new people starting every month," says Pastor Bobby Gruenewald, 36, the app's creator.

Pastor Gruenewald estimates tens of thousands of readings every day of The Christmas Story. Santa and his elves won't be the only busy team this season. For video of the Pastor talking about the Christmas Story Tracker click here:

More About YouVersion
Among the first 200 apps offered as part of Apple's app store, YouVersion is recognized by Appsfire and ranked #3 and #9 Best App of All Time for iPad and iPhone, respectively. To download a free copy of the Bible on your mobile device, visit

Pastor Gruenewald came up with the idea of using technology to make the Bible more accessible while waiting in an airport security line. Before his plane departed, he'd already registered the domain name of When Apple's app store launched in July 2008, Gruenewald hoped for 80,000 downloads in the first six months—a number surpassed in the first weekend. To date, readers have clocked over 35 billion minutes of Bible-reading time. 

Today, the Bible App has 20+ full-time employees along with several hundred volunteers providing tech support for virtually every mobile device.