Religion and the Internet

August 19, 1999


On August 19, 1999, USA Today published an article on the place of religion in cyberspace. Some, like Richard P. Cimino and Don Lattin, authors of Shopping for Faith, assert that the Internet is a "vast, chaotic spiritual supermarket (that) allows people to go directly to source material - ideas they might not be exposed to in their church." Cimino and Lattin state that the most significant effect of computers on religion over the coming years will be to "forge direct links between individual believers and religious groups, bypassing denominational control." A 10-month study of Internet religious use, prepared by Ken Bedell for the United Methodist Church and the Louisville Institute, finds that most people use the Internet to find information on their own faith, particularly at the Web sites of their existing churches and denominations.