How South Americans Are Engaging with Their Faith in the Metaverse

How South Americans Are Engaging with Their Faith in the Metaverse

The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s South American Division has launched its first virtual church in the metaverse, inaugurated on Nov. 17.

According to their blog, this move marks a step in integrating faith with digital technology, providing an immersive experience for worship services, Bible studies, and community activities through a three-dimensional virtual environment.

The virtual church’s opening attracted over 800 visitors globally, including pastors and church members. The Metaverse Church aims to offer an accessible platform for individuals, regardless of physical limitations, to participate actively in church activities. Carlos Magalhães, director of the Digital Strategies area at the South American Adventist headquarters, comments:

“This initiative places the Adventist Church at the forefront of religious adaptation to new technologies.”

Embracing digital platforms for faith and community

Following the initial success of prayer and Bible study groups on various metaverse platforms since 2021, the Seventh-day Adventist Church established a more extensive virtual space. This expansion aligns with the church’s objective to utilize digital platforms for faith-based interactions and community building, catering to a global audience.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s foray into this digital space forms part of a broader trend where technology and religion intersect. This move responds to the evolving landscape of how religious experiences and community interactions are conducted in the digital age.

Diverse activities in the virtual church

In their expanded metaverse space, the Adventist Church presents various areas of activity, catering to different interests and age groups. These include trailblazers and adventurer programs, launches by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Feliz7Play, and Adventist education programs, among other ministries. Each area aims to provide a unique and engaging user experience, enhancing the sense of community and participation in the virtual environment.

One of the main objectives of the Adventist Church in establishing its presence in the metaverse is to increase accessibility. This move allows people with physical limitations to actively participate in church activities, which they might find challenging in physical settings.

How South Americans Are Engaging with Their Faith in the Metaverse

Global trends in church and technology

The “State of Church Technology” survey conducted in 2021 in the United States found that 93% of churches believe technology plays a crucial role in their mission. Additionally, virtual reality churches like VR Church cater to diverse groups, including non-traditional churchgoers.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s involvement in the metaverse is part of a broader strategy to adapt to new technologies. The church’s digital ventures complement traditional worship methods, connecting people and sharing the gospel with digitally inclined generations.

The church plans to continue expanding its activities in the metaverse, including educational programs and community events.

Community response to the metaverse move

The introduction of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s space in the metaverse has elicited various reactions from its community members. The overall response has been largely positive, with many expressing enthusiasm about the opportunity to engage with their faith in a novel, digital format.

Despite the general positivity, some members have had concerns regarding the risks associated with the virtual world. According to Carlos Magalhães, these concerns primarily revolve around the potential for misuse of technology.

In response, the church has emphasized that its presence in the metaverse is intended to complement, rather than replace, the traditional experience of physical temples. The church aims to offer an alternative means of connecting people and sharing the gospel, particularly with the digitally oriented generation.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.