(RNS) — One of the most interesting developments of the social media age is that people are able to find like-minded individuals easily and anonymously. While that anonymity is not without its downsides, one of its real benefits is that people can express who they really are and what they really think about a variety of issues.
Particularly interesting to those who study American religion are the social media communities that have cropped up among those who have left their religious traditions to convert to a new religion or left faith behind entirely. Former evangelical Protestants identify themselves on Twitter with hashtags such as #exvangelical and #empty the pews. On Reddit, a constant stream of Mormon leavers talk about their experience in leaving the church on the subreddit r/exmormon, which boasts some 200,000 users.