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NewsCOVID‐19, Virtual Church Services and a New Temporary Geography of Home

COVID‐19, Virtual Church Services and a New Temporary Geography of Home

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Persecuted christians - Conference at the European Parliament about the persecution of Christians in Sub-Saharan Africa (Credit: MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen)

Break the silence on persecuted Christians

MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen held a conference and exhibition at the European Parliament to denounce the silence surrounding the suffering of persecuted Christians worldwide. The EU must take stronger action against violations of freedom of religion, especially in Africa where lives are lost due to this silence.

The COVID‐19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures implemented by the United Kingdom government from 23 March 2020 led to unprecedented adaptations from individuals and communities including places of worship, their clergy and congregations. This paper through a multi‐disciplinary dialogue between human geography and theology explores the interrelations between place, space and the spiritual. It identifies the bricolage mechanisms that were developed rapidly by churches to shift towards providing virtual church services. This was an uncommon practice by Christian denominations in the UK. COVID‐19 changed the rules requiring new practices to emerge resulting in a new form of infrasecular space to emerge. Such rapid transformations through the provision of online services and virtual embeddedness blurred the lines between sacred and secular spaces. During virtual services, the minister’s home is temporally linked to the homes of congregants forming an intersacred space. Homes and spaces within homes are transformed into temporary sacred spaces.

For more see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7361358/

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