Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Christian Harlequin

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
A new kind of romance novel has become popular. It is the new, revised, and cleaned-up version, in factÑthe Christian version. The market has shown a growing popularity of religious fiction in which Òthe heroine is always chaste and God is the third figure in every love triangle.Ó Harlequin Enterprises Ltd., one of the worldÕs leading publishers of romance novels, has decided to capitalize on this new interest and has launched its new Steele Hill division last September with three Christian romances, to be sold by mass-market sellers such as Kmart and Wal-Mart. Lisa Miles, special promotion manager for the publishing house, said ÒinspirationalÓ books are one of the fastest growing markets, with sales projected to rise from 118.4 million books in 1995 to 133.2 million in 2000. She said more than 100,000 of the Christian romance have been sent out and the initial reaction from major department stores has been positive. (From Associated Press)

No wonder Harlequin has entered upon this enterprise! As Phillis Tickel, religion editor for Publishers Weekly stated: ÒIt speaks with all the neutrality of the cash register.Ó Nevertheless, it is a good step away from the junk that Harlequin has been selling. Now, many of the books popular with our people can already be purchased in various stores, and this is certainly a happy development. But let us not forget books like those published by the Banner of Truth for instance, and which can be purchased only in Christian book stores. Let us progress in our reading and mix our Christian novels with some good solid religious and Biblical instruction as well. And, not to forget: the reading of the Bible first and foremost!

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