When faced with a worldwide pandemic, many churches have made huge strides when it comes to their use of technology to connect parishioners in the past two years.
For some, though, the use of technology has outright replaced the brick and mortar locations of church. Virtual Reality churches have increasingly gained traction during the pandemic as people were stuck at home and yearning for communal and spiritual experiences. As the metaverse continues to grow in popularity and development, so do the opportunities for spiritual gatherings that are 100 percent virtual.
Luis Andres Henao with AP News writes:
Under quarantine for COVID-19 exposure, Garret Bernal and his family missed a recent Sunday church service. So he strapped on a virtual reality headset and explored what it would be like to worship in the metaverse.
Without leaving his home in Richmond, Virginia, he was soon floating in a 3D outer-space wonderland of pastures, rocky cliffs and rivers, as the avatar of a pastor guided him and others through computer-generated illustrations of Biblical passages that seemed to come to life as they prayed.
“I couldn’t have had such an immersive church experience sitting in my pew. I was able to see the scriptures in a new way,” said Bernal, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon church.
He’s among many Americans — some traditionally religious, some religiously unaffiliated — who are increasingly communing spiritually through virtual reality, one of the many evolving spaces in the metaverse that have grown in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic.
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