Serbia's Orthodox Church Takes its Message Online
People who want to learn more about the Serbian Orthodox Church, by far the biggest church in the country, no longer have to head off to their local church building.
Now they can get a taste of religion from Crkva.net, the first Orthodox church social network, which already has 6,000 members, and is looking for more.
One of the site's administrators, Vladimir Jovanovic, told BIRN that Crkva.net was created in April 2016 by a group of priests, religious professors and theologians of the missionary committee of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
"It was formed out of a need to gather everything that is good in the Church in one place, with the creators of content themselves, in a simple way, editing and creating the content," he said.
Crkva.net in many ways recalls Facebook, but with a different layout and a Christian narrative.
"Good day and God help you," is the message every user receives when logging in. One of the questions asked during the procedure of creating an account is: "When is your patron saint's day?"
Existing users include dioceses, the Serbian Orthodox Church in Malta, groups sharing advice on Christian education and family and others.
Kosovo - which Serbia claims as its territory depite declaring independence a decade ago - has its own group in which people share Serbian patriotic news.
Sixteen days ago, Crkva.net also started its own Android application.
Jovanovic explained that while BIRN Crkva.net is an Orthodox Christian community site, anyone can sign up for it, "whether or not he or she is Orthodox, Catholic, or another Christian denomination, or an atheist".
People who sign up, Jovanovic explained, will likely meet interesting people from all types of communities...