The 2012 Survey of Readers of The Urantia Book

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Tamara Strumfeld

By Tamara Strumfeld, Skokie, Illinois, USA

In November 2012, Urantia Association International, the Urantia Book Fellowship, Urantia Foundation, and sponsored a survey for readers of The Urantia Book. To the more than 3,200 readers who participated, we say: Thank you!

Results of the survey were garnered from persons who chose to participate―indicating that the results came from readers of the book who have a strong interest in it. Therefore, although the survey is not scientific, one may assume that the information accurately reflects the readership community.

Some of the results are as follows.

Age: 44% are between 40 and 59 years old. 43% are older than 59.

Education: 32% have had some college. 38% have graduated from college. 22% have a post-graduate degree.

Language: 55% speak English as a native language. 57% speak English as a second language.

Religious affiliation: 48% were raised Catholic; 12% are still practicing. 38% were raised Christian (other than Catholic); 22% are still practicing. 7% were raised with no religious practice; 22% now have some religious practice. 2.6% were raised with a personal religion, including the Urantia Book teachings, and 40% now participate in an organized religion. It is interesting to note that the greatest percentage change in religious practice came from those individuals raised without a traditional religion.

How The Urantia Book was found: 52% from a friend, 19% through the Internet, 14% in a bookstore, 13% from family, and 3% from a library. Person to person dissemination is still the strongest method.

Amount of The Urantia Book read: 53% in its entirety, 19% more than half, and 18% less than half.

Study group attendance: 14% attend weekly. 12% attend monthly. 5% attend semi-annually. 4% attend yearly. 65% have never attended a study group.

Financial support: 8% give monthly. 2% give quarterly. 3% give semi-annually. 16% give yearly. 57% have never given. How many different persons have contributed to the Urantia Book project via Urantia Foundation since the first contributions were received in the early 1940s? One lady said, “A hundred thousand.” The correct answer is fewer than 3,000 of us have financially supported this project since the beginning. If about 2,500 of us contributed $365 a year, a dollar a day, the support of Urantia Foundation would be totally democratized, which would be almost unheard of for a charity. Most charities receive ninety percent of their support from ten percent of their contributors.

Many participants wrote comments at the end of the survey. A few comments were scathingly negative, but almost all of them were full of goodwill and appreciation for the work the organizations are doing. Many expressed gratitude for having the teachings in their lives. There was high praise for organizational cooperation with encouragement for more joint projects. Many readers expressed a desire to have a place of worship, be it in a church or in study groups, and many expressed their anxiety that the movement was starting to be churchified. Readers want more family-oriented activities/communities, and they want more secondary works geared for children. Readers want study aids with good visuals, more YouTube videos, and online discussion groups. The Urantia Book has concepts difficult to grasp, and people want help understanding them. (I think study groups are the best way.) There was a cry to get the younger generations interested. The international readership has asked for the organizations to become less “US-centric.” (Sometimes we cannot seem to help ourselves, but we are working on it.) For certain, there is much work still to be done in seeding The Urantia Book and its teachings globally.

You may enjoy the following, which are comments from readers:

Here in New Zealand it is easy to feel a little isolated from the Urantia community, and so I appreciate the online resources you provide for study and interpersonal connection. Thank you very much for all your hard work and leadership.”

I started reading The Urantia Book when I was about 10 to 12 years old. My mother used to make me read it as punishment, yet it wasn't punishment to me. I found it very interesting. Although I didn't understand some of what I was reading as a child, I have found that going back and rereading has enlightened me a great deal. I have a few friends that have read it in its entirety just by my recommendations. I am a seed planter you might say, and then I watch the seed take root in my friends, and it blossoms! Thank you for keeping this book alive!

I think the most important area to focus on is appealing to the youth and young adults, and we need vibrant and inspirational leaders to do it.”

Spreading the Urantia Revelation and sharing all that it teaches us, person to person, is a challenging job. Thank you for all you do!

If you would like to receive the full results of this survey, you are welcome to email me at [email protected].

What was your childhood religious upbringing?
How old were you when you first started reading The Urantia Book?
How long have you been reading The Urantia Book?
How did you find The Urantia Book?

Foundation Info

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