God in cyberspace: There’s an app for that – in fact, lots of them

There may be no more visible sample to seeing how belief and technological sciences are intertwined than the proliferation of religious apps. Case in time: A biblical app known as YouVersion , now approaching its 10 th commemoration, has been downloaded 300 million times.

But it’s not just evangelical Christians creating and using religion apps. Carry Your Faith, an app affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, tells people who can’t physically celebrate Mass attend virtually each day at 9:30 a.m. The Roman Catholic Church launched the Pope App in 2013. Last time, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama began offering an app.

The same departs for tech-savvy Muslims and Jews. Islamic apps provide instruction on the various types petition paces, terminated with portraits. Some also furnish interactive Ramadan planners and a acces to live flow Ramadan acts with others around the world. Those very interested in Judaism have such picks as the TorahChannel app, which offers top online videos about Judaism. The app includes Jewish festivity playlists and coaches history and law relating to the religion.

“There’s a stereotype of religions, beings think of them as old or ancient, afraid of technology, ” said Michael McBride, an economist at the University of California at Irvine who schools a class named “Economics of Religion” in which students investigate religion apps.

“But theological groups have been at the forefront of new technology ratification, from the days of the printing press- religion radicals were early adopters of the printing press- to use videos when VHS firstly appeared to setting up websites in the early days of the Internet, ” McBride told Fox News.

Apps often complemented rather than supplant conventional forms of committing with religion, such as going to a service or observance, he said.

When he was a millennial, YouVersion founder Bobby Gruenewald wanted to give people like himself- someone who wanted to be more familiar with the Bible and connected to belief but was not going to go to school every Sunday- a route to learn about, understand and perhaps eventually live by Scripture.

Screenshot of YouVersion app ( YouVersion.com)

YouVersion, which has been downloaded in every country, in more than 1,200 lingos, is free of charge- an essential part, Gruenewald told Fox News, of starting sure “there wasnt” barriers to forming it accessible to anyone who wants it. It is in favour of LifeChurch.tv of Edmond, Oklahoma, which has invested more than $20 million into it.

There’s a stereotype of religions, beings review them as old-time or ancient, afraid of technology. But religion groups have been at the vanguard of new technology approval, from the working day of the printing press.

– Michael McBride, professor, University of California-Irvine

“There are many parties similar to me, ” Gruenewald said, “who have an interest in understand better the Bible, or read some of it and want to read more of it, but have trouble consistently doing it the usual mode. “

They would envision the book and the width and formatting are intimidating.”

The app morphed over the years, well beyond offering a mobile and instantaneous method to read the Bible to imparting personalized aspects of Scripture via a well-liked conversation, edition, and in response to a humor or apply at a given moment , among other things.

“We’re trying to make it accessible, we designed it to encourage daily commitment, ” said Gruenewald, who propelled YouVersion as an internet site in 2007. He got the idea for the app a year earlier while dealing with a long wait at an Oklahoma airport. It was one of the first 200 apps in Apple’s App Store in 2008.

“In the explore province of the app, it allows you to express different feelings you’re knowledge at the time, and we connect “youve got to” a scripture based on such a feeling. You can subscribe to a daily plan for seven days[ for example] around tension[ controversies ]. ”

My app is a mode of handing big material — my daily brief, podcast and programming- and it’s now simply a fact of life that if you’re not present in that life[ of apps ], you’re not reaching millions and millions of people.

– Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr ., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

When the anxiety-themed programme propelled, he mentioned, 750,000 people subscribed to it.

“We want it to be simple and easy so that people can find something relevant to where are they are, ” Gruenewald said, “We certainly hope it strengthens their religion, and employing with God’s words can be a great source of concentration and backing that can help people in their daily life.”

YouVersion’s makes is of the view that countless consumers like situating Bible verses over portraits, and now are working on ways to start that easier on the app, Gruenewald said , observing how technology must continue to evolve to keep pace with mobile tends. About one-fourth of the app’s patrons follow the Bible on audio, he said. Individual spiritual leader also volunteer adherents theological apps.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary propelled a portable app for president of the conference, the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr ., in 2015. The pastor’s podcast alone had get more than 1 million downloads on the app each month.

Elizabeth Llorente is Major Reporter for FoxNews.com, and can be reached at Elizabeth.Llorente @Foxnews. com. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Llorente .

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