19-23 Feb 2018

Can the problems of a church be solved with a mobile app?

Crkva.net is social media site run by Serbian Orthodox Church. The platform, which looks similar to Facebook, is still quite small but with its new Android phone version, the Church hopes to attract more believers.

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Can the problems of a church be solved with a mobile app? - NewsMavens
Crkva net logo replicated 5 times

Why this story matters:

While Serbian Orthodox Church premiered in the world of social networks just two years ago, some other religions, such as the Roman Catholic Church, have a well established social media presence. 

The Catholic Church tries to reach younger people, who are less likely to be religious, through carefully designed Facebook, Twitter and Instagram strategies. Vatican's online community has over 4 million users on the most popular social networks as of January this year. 

Their churches, however, are less then crowded. 

The news about Crkva.net releasing a mobile version coincides with a story about a scammer Orthodox priest from the Central Serbian town of Kragujevac who cheated on local church-goers. His extensive criminal record only recently came to light. This bizarre case is one of many that has compromised trust in the Serbian Orthodox Church in recent years. 

Religious groups try hard to become relevant to modern life by using technology, but the reasons that people, especially young ones, tend to alienate themselves from religions are more complex. Having access to religious communities on via mobile phones does not even begin to address them.

communityreligion

Details from the story:

  • Crkva.net web site was created in April 2016. It recently got its Android application.
  • The idea to create a social media platform for believers was developed by the priests and theologians of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
  • So far, Crkva.net has around 6,000 members.
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