Five Social Media Trends that are Reshaping Religion

Over the past couple years, religionistas of all sorts have attempted to navigate a new media landscape in which old constructions of religious authority, identity, and practice are changing almost by the minute. This surely marks the beginning something of a Second Coming of religion in digitally-integrated form.

As we wait and watch this holiday season for, among other things, news of the much-anticipated Facebook IPO—perhaps the only miracle story compelling enough to capture our attention in these economic dark times—it seems worthwhile to take a look at some trends in social media (ordered pretty much as they came into my head) that are reshaping religion and spirituality:

1. Social Prayer

Throughout 2011, the “Jesus Daily” Facebook page has outranked soccer superpowers and celebrity superstars like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber as the “most engaging” locale on Facebook. But it’s hardly spiritually lonely at the top for the inspiration and prayer page started by weight-loss doctor Aaron Tabor. The “Dios Es Bueno” (God is Good), “The Bible,” and “Joyce Mercer Ministries” pages all hang out in the top ten, and five more religious pages fill out the bottom half of the top twenty. In all, more than half of the top twenty most engaging pages—pages that move beyond mere broadcast messaging to share content that inspires participants to interact with one another—are religious. [more]


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