For those Christian fiction readers living in northern California, one of the biggest stories of 2011 was probably not the fact that HarperCollins (a Rupert Murdoch company) now owns 50% of the Christian book market.  Just like the rest of the world, the news of the death of Osama bin Laden, the Occupy movements, and local stories were probably more in the forefront of Christian fiction book readers living in communities like Seaside, Sonoma, Smith River, and Shasta.  But the fact that a secular book publisher is now responsible for half the books written by and for Christian readers, is something readers should take notice of.

When HarperCollins acquired Christian publishing company Zondervan in 1988, it didn’t seem to make a big difference to readers of Christian fiction; much of the Christian book market at that time fell into the Romance and Inspirational categories.  However since that acquisition, Zondervan has come under fire for its translation of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible when it decided to include gender-neutral langauage in its 2011 edition.  And earlier this year, this Examiner severed ties with Zondervan when it was discovered several of the ‘Christian’ authors being published by the company were living an active homosexual lifestyle.

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