Holy surfers have faith in the web

WebUser Magazine (England), Apr. 17, 2003
by Veronique De Freitas

Religious websites have replaced visiting the church as the way for Britons to get in touch with their faith, the latest statistics reveal.

Traffic to UK religion sites has risen by over 150 per cent since this time last year, according to internet measurement company Hitwise.

This is compared to recent figures that less than 15 per cent of Britain’s population physically attend church at least once a month.

Simon Chamberlain, general manager of Hitwise, said: “Given the range of choice and information, there’s little wonder that attendances at church services are down, with young people using the internet to define their spiritual journey and beliefs without having to set foot in a church”.

Figures from Hitwise also reveal that users spend more time online surfing for religion information than last year, with the duration increasing from five minutes and 37 seconds to five minutes and 23 seconds in 2002.

The UK’s most popular religious sites include BBCi Religion and Ethics, Find a Church and Ship of Fools - which provides humorous stories, information on Christian events and competitions.

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