The South American branch of the Seventh-day Adventist Church launched its first virtual church in the Metaverse on November 17th.
According to them, blogthis move marks a step in integrating faith and digital technology, providing an immersive experience for worship, Bible study, and community activities through a three-dimensional virtual environment.
The virtual church opening attracted more than 800 visitors from around the world, including pastors and church members. Metaverse Church aims to provide an accessible platform for individuals to actively participate in the activities of the Church, regardless of their physical limitations. Carlos Magalhães, Director of Digital Strategy Area, Adventist South America, commented:
“This initiative puts the Adventist Church at the forefront of religious adaptation to new technology.”
Embracing digital platforms for faith and community
Since 2021, following the initial success of prayer and Bible study groups on various Metaverse platforms, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has established a broader virtual space. This expansion aligns with the Church's purpose to leverage digital platforms for faith-based interaction and community building, and to reach a global audience.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church's foray into this digital space forms part of a broader trend at the intersection of technology and religion. This move is in response to the evolving landscape of how religious experiences and community interactions take place in the digital age.
Diverse activities in virtual church
In an expanded metaverse space, the Adventist Church presents different areas of activity for different interests and age groups. These include the Pioneers and Adventurers Program, a launch by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Feliz7Play, the Adventist Education Program, and more. Each area is intended to provide a unique and engaging user experience, enhancing the sense of community and participation in the virtual environment.
One of the Adventist Church's primary goals in establishing a presence in the metaverse is to increase accessibility. This move allows people with physical limitations to actively participate in church activities that they may find difficult in a physical environment.
Global trends in church and technology
“Current State of Church Technology” investigation A 2021 US survey found that 93% of churches believe technology plays an important role in their mission. Additionally, virtual reality churches like VR Church cater to diverse groups, including non-traditional church attendees.
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 work complements traditional worship methods, brings people together, and shares the gospel with a digitally-minded generation.
The church plans to continue expanding its activities in the Metaverse, including educational programs and community events.
Community reaction to metaverse migration
The introduction of Seventh-day Adventist Church space in the Metaverse has sparked mixed reactions from community members. The overall response has been largely positive, with many expressing enthusiasm for the opportunity to engage with their faith in a novel digital format.
Despite the overall positive attitude, some members have concerns about the risks associated with virtual worlds. According to Carlos Magalhães, these concerns primarily revolve around the potential for misuse of the technology.
In response, the Church emphasized that the Church's presence in the Metaverse is intended to complement, rather than replace, the traditional experience of a physical temple. The church aims to bring people together and provide an alternative way to share the gospel, especially with a digitally oriented generation.