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WWW: church - 03

St Augustine : Augustinian Church Vienna Austria
Augustinian Church
Vienna
Austria
Did the media, however, tend to overlook the content of their anti-corporate and anti-globalisation message in the confusion of the fray?                       
 
For example, some of the protesters voiced the fear of the control of information technology by a few rich nations and very rich multi-national corporations is both dangerous for humanity and lacking in equity.                                    
 
There are social justice issues here that will need the attention of the Christian church. Just as the industrial age benefited greatly from church advice regarding the ownership and fair distribution of the world's physical resources and the fruit of human labour, the information age will highlight the need for a call for a just access to information and intellectual property.  
 
As well, the church cannot afford to underestimate the Internet's potential for evangelisation in our world. Many centuries ago, the church adjusted to the Gutenberg age, when without ecclesiastical approbation the first book off the printing press was the Bible.          
 
For both technological and financial reasons the Radio Age was difficult for the church to enter (Radio 2SM in Sydney, Australia was once owned by the Catholic Church), and the Television Age more so (although Bishop Fulton Sheen influenced a generation of American and Australian Catholics, and an American nun, Sister Angelica, now controls the largest religious cable TV network in the United States and Europe.)
 
The Internet Age is not as expensive to enter as was public radio and television; indeed, many families have their own web site displayed on the Internet. Once computer hardware is on hand, a web site costs only a few hundred dollars to establish.                    
 
As yet church web sites often look as if they lack sufficient resources. They tend still to be back in the first phase of Internet development, with "read only" material, and in today's technology do not display a great amount of creativity, attractiveness or even content.                                              
 
Helpful church web sites do exist, such as the daily prayer provided by the Irish Jesuits ( http://www.sacredspace.ie/ ), the Roman Catholic Web Ring in Chicago, and the 7,300 links at http://www.shc.edu/theolibrary                                              
 
Even so, with evangelisation in mind, church web sites will have to focus more on the potential viewers. At their own choice of time, in the privacy and comfort of their own home, and without feeling coerced these viewers should be able to read what the church has to say, to interact with it, and to make E-mail inquiries.                                                  
 
The greater use of the Internet for evangelisation will happen, but how long the world will have to wait for Christian churches to do this extensively and well is the big question. 
 
A fantastic new tool for evangelisation awaits to be utilised comprehensively.
ID2435

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