Is the Black church about to lose its relevance in this new digital age? Is it doomed to become a relic of the past that people will go to visit on their tourist trips as it has happened with the Catholic Church in Europe? It is true that the pandemic has been a very hard blow from which the Black church has not yet been able to recover. Back in time, the Black church was the backbone of the civil rights movement. Furthermore, many black families have centered their lives around church in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s, attending weekly services for years. However, in the past 15 years, the decline in attendance by the youth is significantly rampant, but the death stroke arrived during the pandemic.
However, Jason Oliver Evans, a doctoral student in Religious Studies at University of Virginia, is optimistic in spite of the reality of the numbers in USA; “Despite this decline, African Americans are the most religious racial group in the United States”, [and Black people are the most spiritual beings around the world].
For example, during the period of slavery, churches were often the only places where enslaved African Americans could gather and freely express themselves without fear of punishment. Churches also played a critical role in the Underground Railroad, helping enslaved people escape to freedom. After the Civil War, and during the Civil Rights Movement, churches served as key meeting places for activists and leaders, providing a platform for organizing and advocacy efforts.
In short, religious institutions have been instrumental in the cultural, social, and political development of Black communities and have played a significant role in their struggle for equality and justice.
The Metaverse will not resurrect membership’s spirituality or even truth (this depends solely and entirely on the message preached and the example given by leaders and members), but it can surely bring back the service that it used to have to the social and economic benefits of the local community in a faster and more efficient way. Are you willing to bring your community to the level it belongs? HOLD THE VISION, TRUST THE PROCESS.