Like many other businesses that rely on Facebook and social media for their online success, churches and religious groups have begun ceding their presence in the creation of their parishioners' religious experience to social media corporations.
No longer is a YouTube video or live broadcast of a religious service the norm. Facebook has partnered with mega-churches and religious groups to create a new religious experience: live-streaming, video capability, and fund-raising/financial giving can all be centered on a religious group’s Facebook page.
According to Newsmax,
The Times said Facebook, "aims to become the virtual home for religious community, and wants churches, mosques, synagogues and others to embed their religious life into its platform, from hosting worship services and socializing more casually to soliciting money."
The online giant has created new products, including audio and prayer sharing, aimed to help faith groups. One tool allows for subscriptions where users pay to receive exclusive content.
Although in-person religious gatherings aren’t going to be replaced by virtual meetings, many religious groups see opportunity to reach more people on Facebook.
What will happen to those groups that choose not to participate in Facebook’s formula? One large group in the Hindu community, HJS, offers us a glimpse of the future, long accusing Facebook of silencing their religious content by shutting their page down. What did Facebook base that decision upon?
Remember the verified reports of Facebook and other digital media mega-corporations “shadow-banning,” “throttling down,” and manipulating search engine results against conservative voices during the 2016 and 2020 elections? Now, does Big Tech seek the control they have failed to scare you into submitting by becoming the re-shapers of how we see God?