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Thursday, 2 April 2015

Gideons International

The Gideon organization was founded in 1898 by three travelling businessman in Boscobel, Wisconsin, as an interdenominational group dedicated to evangelism.

In 1908 the Gideons begun distributing free Bibles with the aim of placing scripture in every hotel room on the planet.  The first Gideon Bible was placed in a room in the Superior Hotel in Iron Mountain, Montana in 1908.

On December 8, 1941, Adolf Hitler ran out of his bunker into the icy night to tell his generals that Japan had attacked America at Pearl Harbor and thus bought USA into the war. Many Americans were conscripted to serve their country and they received Gideon New Testaments, which were distributed to all military personnel in which President Roosevelt had written the forward.

During World War II there were Military Issued New Testaments, brown for Army and blue for Navy distributed by the Gideons.

Gideons distributed their two billionth Bible in late April of 2015.

The organisation are named after the Israelite judge whose story is recorded in chapters 6 to 8 of the Book of Judges. The symbol of the Gideons is a two-handled pitcher and torch, recalling Gideon's victory over the Midianites.

The headquarters of Gideons International is in Nashville, Tennessee.

Membership is limited to current or retired business or professional men aged 21 or older who are members in good standing of an evangelical or Protestant church.

It is estimated that about 25% of people who stay in hotel rooms read the Gideon Bible provided to them. As each Bible has a lifespan of around six years, that means that each one is read by roughly 2300 people during its hotel room stay.

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