Gideon's Bibles?

I remember a time when every hotel room in… well, at least the US had a Gideon’s Bible tucked away in one of its drawers. It occurs to me that I haven’t seen one in about ten years now, and I spend a lot of time in major-chain hotels, mostly foreign, but in Christian-majority countries. I wouldn’t expect to find one in Japan or Korea, but I’m surprised I didn’t find one in Guam or the Phillippines.

Have the Gideons changed their mission? Narrowed it down? What’s the straight dope?

I still see plenty of them in the US and Canada. I don’t make it a point to look for one in every hotel room, but I definitely spot them from time to time.

I was always under the impression that having Bibles in hotel rooms was a genuine American tradition. Whenever there is an article or an opinion piece about the perceived religiosity of Americans, the author never fails to mention this factoid.

In the year 2012 I was in hotels in Spain, northern Italy, Canada, and England. Not to mention hotels in New York, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Michigan, Minnesota, and northern Wisconsin.
Every single one of them had a Bible in them.
All in the top drawer of the night stand next to the bed.

FWIW, the Gideons are also famous for handing out bibles in British and Australian schools. (Dunno about their hotels, though.)

In Japan, I’ve seen both Gideon Bibles and Buddhist texts in hotel rooms. Same in South Korea.

We always put them in the safe so they couldn’t get us while we were sleeping.

I took a trip to Canada and my room didn’t have a full bible, but it had a combination English/French New Testament. I think it may have actually been printed by the Gideons, but am not sure.

I assume Riyadh and Tehran are out of the question, but how about Abuja and Jakarta?

Check out the drawer in any Marriott. You’ll find a Book of Mormon.
ETA: nine replies, and no “Rocky Raccoon” references yet?

My hotel in Dubai had an arrow on the ceiling in every room pointing to Mecca.

I found them in hotels in the US in the last few years. They also stopped through my medical center within the last year and were handing them out to be left as reading material in clinic waiting rooms.

There are Christians in Iran and they use the Bible. For personal use, you are permitted to take a Bible with you to Saudi Arabia. Indonesia also has Christians who use the Bible.

In Canada, I received a little red “leatherette*” New Testament + Psalms and Proverbs from the Gideon’s in grade 4 or 5. (so nine or 10 years old) I received a white “nurse’s testament” from the Gideon’s society just before I graduated Nursing school. There was about 20 minutes at the end of a class and we could stay for a presentation and get a Bible, or leave, our choice. I have actually carried this Testament with me to work, and lent it out to a few people over the years, mainly to people sitting vigil with a dying loved one. (And twice to read to a dying patient, and once to a person who was very frightened about upcoming surgery.)I am Christian, but not overly religious and certainly very private/silent about it, so co workers are always surprised to find out I routinely have one with me. Maybe it has been six or eight times in 13 years, but when someone is having trouble it is nice to have something more to offer than “I will leave a message for Pastoral Care to contact you in the morning.”

*My parents have a collection of Bibles and testaments on their shelves, including the red LEATHER testament that my dad recieved at the same age from the Gideon’s society. Considering that my white Nurse’s testament is merely a shinier heavy weight cardstock embossed in white, I really can admire the 1950 volume. I actually wish mine had a leather finish, it would be nicer to lend out to people.

If you stay in a Marriott hotel, you get BOTH the Bible and the Book of Mormon-you can pick and choose.

Or you can use both!

Latter-day saints read the Book of Mormon in addition to the Bible, not instead of it. They still consider the Bible to be inspired and holy, too.

Go to the source —>

I just stayed in Japantown in SF for the last couple weeks. Both hotels I stayed at had a bible and a book on some Buddhist teachings in the bedside drawer.

The Buddhist one was laying atop the bible. I moved them apart, thinking it might be a fire hazard if they continued touching.

The hotels I’ve stayed at in Australia have all had Gideon Bibles in the rooms.

Once when staying at a hotel in Calgary, I found “The Teachings of Buddha” alongside the Bible in the nightstand. I’m not sure whether it was put there by the hotel, or by a previous guest though.