As the digital media gains more ground in different areas of human endeavour, religious organisations are catching up with the trend. Churches, whose websites were hitherto dormant, now see reasons to regularly get them updated, with a view to building relationships with their members and active Internet users from different parts of the world.
Many churches appear to have joined in the rush to register their presence online in order to gain the attention of millions of Nigerians who spend unusually long hours on the Internet. The activities of many churches online now make them appear trendy and up-to-date in the eyes of members of the public.
A search through alexa.com, a portal that provides web traffic data, shows that, among the churches in Nigeria, the website of the Living Faith Church, popularly called Winners chapel, www.domi.org.ng, is the most ranked.
Information on the portal reveals that visitors to the website, which is ranked 1,182 in Nigeria, view an average of 2.9 unique pages each day. Visitors to the website from Nigeria also account for 51.8 percentage of the total patronage the portal receives, while Internet users in Tanzania accounts for 22.7 per cent of total visits to it.
Besides, the church, which streams it messages live from the portal, has also embraced the use of various social networking sites as it integrates social media with spiritual life. Its social accounts, opened in the name of the pastor, also garners dozens of followers on a daily basis.
Its Facebook and Twitter pages, at the last check, commands a following of 13, 965 and 19,566 respectively.
Daystar Christian Centre’s website, daystarng.org, follows Winners chapel’s website closely from behind with a traffic rank of 1, 471 in the country, according to alexa.com.
Apart from live-streaming its services, the website has also been turned to a platform where members can pay their offerings online with provisions for anonymity.
The website of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, rccg.org which ranks in Nigeria 1,675, is also a force to reckon with among religious organisations in the country. The church is also actively engaging digital media savvy individuals via four major social media channels: Facebook Twitter, Google+ and YouTube, which are integrated on its website.
The Facebook page has attracted a following of 58, 471 while over 117,000 people subscribe to the church tweets, which are majorly inspirational quotes and verses of the Bible.
A tweet from the Twitter handle of the RCCG, on Wednesday, stated, “Do not be discouraged by unfulfilled dreams and aspirations. Remember, dreams don’t have expiration dates.’’
The website of another new generation church in the country, Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, cozanigeria.org.ng, ranks next to that of the RCCG. The church, which also makes use of YouTube to propagate its preaching, appears to take Twitter even more seriously.