Many religious denominations are now offering interactive digital locations to complement traditional services, but unique to COVID-19 is the opportunity to experience spirituality in an immersive 3D environment through virtual reality (VR) technology.
According to a report by the NZ Herald, Garrett Bernal and his family were reportedly absent from a recent Sunday service during his quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19. So she put on a virtual reality headset and tried praying in the metaverse.
He was instantly transported into a three-dimensional virtual realm of pastures, cliffs and rivers as a shepherd’s representative guided him and others through computer-generated images of biblical passages brought to life. Bernal, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stated:
“I couldn’t have had such an immersive experience in church sitting in my pew. I was able to see the scriptures in a new way.”
Religious leaders like DJ Soto, a pastor based in Fredericksburg, Virginia, have championed the benefits of virtual reality and see it as a step forward in human self-realization. The future of going to church, according to him, is in the metaverse because “it reaches people who cannot physically go to church” due to COVID-19 or other aspects. Speaking with Cointelegraph, DJ Soto emphasized that “conversations about technology and spirituality must co-exist”, stating that:
“We have people attending due to COVID-19, or lack of accessibility to their physical church. We are a first-of-its-kind Web3 church that will bring Christianity to the brave world of cryptocurrencies, DAOs, blockchain, and other cloud technologies.” next generation. Conversations about technology and spirituality need to co-exist. We’re living in the best of times to experience innovations like this, and we look forward to the journey ahead.”
The VR church is based entirely on the metaverse and aims to develop loving spiritual communities throughout the virtual realm, Soto said.
According to the Herald, there was little interest in attending during the first year and Soto frequently found himself preaching to a small group of people, mostly atheists and agnostics, who were more interested in talking about religion. However, the document states that his group has since expanded to about 200 people.
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The report cites another clergyman, the Rev. Jeremy Nickel, a Unitarian Universalist minister living in Colorado who calls himself a virtual reality evangelist. His idea was to build a community and “get away from brick and mortar” when he established SacredVR in 2017. However, it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that the group’s membership grew from a few dozen to hundreds of people. .
This post Religious services move to metaverse amid COVID-19 concerns
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