Google searches for "Jesus" and the query "What do Christians believe?" are reported to have spiked after Kanye West's gospel-rap album, "Jesus Is King," dropped on Friday, reported Fox News.
Besides the fact that the album has many biblical references, West himself, a born-again believer, recently shared that he reads his Bible before going to bed.
Now, the American Bible Society wants to give that same opportunity to those who've heard the album and are displaying an interest in Christianity.
The ministry, which was started in 1816, launched "Bibles for Kanye Fans" to "aid those with questions by offering free access to the Bible," giving away up to 1,000 copies of the Good News Translation for free.
Dr. John Farquhar Plake, the organisation's director of ministry intelligence, was quoted by Fox News as saying:
"When we saw an influential cultural figure like Kanye inspiring young people to curiously seek out answers to their faith questions, we saw that as an opportunity to do what we do best as an organisation: to provide God's word and point people to it as a source to their questions about faith."
American Bible Society's annual "State of the Bible" survey found that 61 percent of millennials said they're curious about the Bible.
"Kanye's album just points to this cultural curiosity and we're happy to stand in the gap and say if you're curious about the Bible, we want to provide one to you," Plake added.
West's personal pastor, Adam Tyson, the senior pastor of Placerita Bible Church outside of Los Angeles, has been leading him in a Bible study since August and has been preaching the gospel at Sunday Service events, most recently in Los Angeles Sunday.
"Kanye started visiting our church back in mid-May," Tyson told Fox News. "He asked me to help him to learn more about God from the Bible, so I started a Bible study with him and others in Calabasas in August."
As the long-awaited album by West was released, many fans went online to share their sentiments on God and the Church stirred by the rapper’s music.
This album is incredible, thank you Ye for sharing this with us. Good work man.🙏— Storm Kunkel (@stormkunkel) October 25, 2019
Really good music that is needed💯💯— Nick MVP (@NICKBMVP) October 25, 2019
I’m so thankful for you Kanye. For standing up for our Lord and always telling the truth. Prayers for you!!!— Laurie Castor (@candymtn) November 3, 2019
Some were not particularly impressed with the musician’s new effort:
Good news ...but Kanye is a little "erratic "...He might be on a new "thing" next week ...Stay tuned— Harvey Burnett (@BurnettHarvey) November 3, 2019
Kanye ruined the album. Law of Attraction from the Yandhi leaks was better than Use this Gospel. The OG Selah was better. He didn’t include LA Monster, Up from the Ashes or even New Body which we’re all highlights. The Yandhi leaks were better than this! He ruined his own album.— Macky (@akidoapparel) October 25, 2019
Lol. There is nothing rappers won't use as a prop.— Max Shekelbaum (@shekelbaum) November 3, 2019
And renewed interest in the definition of the word "charlatan."— Enchanted Meat (@EnchantedMeat) November 3, 2019
Others were inspired to launch a meme contest:
After many release date shifts, Kanye West finally released his ninth studio album titled Jesus Is King on 25 October.
The album follows a religious theme, with West describing it as "an expression of the gospel."
Originally titled “Yandhi”, the album missed two initial release dates in September and November 2018, before being delayed indefinitely.
In August 2019, West's wife Kim Kardashian reannounced the album as Jesus Is King.
West’s IMAX movie, also titled Jesus Is King, was timed to be released Friday as well, promising to bring his famous Sunday Service to cinemagoers.