Facebook aids religious gatherings with new products amid Coronavirus outbreak

Facebook has launched new products, Faith on Facebook Resource Hub and Faith on Facebook toolkit to ensure religious organisations meet amid the global lockdown.

The duo products are among the social media giant’s key resources to ensure faith-based groups continue to observe social distancing despite the lockdown introduced to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

This was disclosed by the Regional Director, Facebook Africa, Nunu Ntshingila in a statement sent to Nairametrics.

She explained that the company had launched the “Faith on Facebook Resource Hub”, the Faith on Facebook toolkit and other key resources due to the challenges being faced by religious leaders.

These resources are expected to help the faith centres to build a community online since they can’t interface physically. The tools will guide the faith-based groups on how to keep their communities engaged without compromising their safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virus outbreak has led to global lockdown as a measure to stop its spread. There are over 1.8 million confirmed cases globally, with over 110,000 deaths.

Nigeria has recorded 323 confirmed cases, 85 patients have been discharged and 10 deaths recorded since late February when the first case was detected. This has led to President Muhammadu Buhari ordering a lockdown, which has affected businesses and faith-based organisations.

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According to Ntshingila, Facebook’s role in society has never been more essential than it is now.

“At a time like this, our mission has never been more relevant, to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

“We know that faith leaders across Africa are grappling with the unexpected challenges in serving their members digitally, and we’re committed to providing them with the resources and tools to support them as much as possible.”

She added that, “Our ultimate goal is to equip faith-based communities with the tools to help them continue faith conversations throughout the pandemic.”

Other tools provided by Facebook for Faith-based organisations  

Facebook Pages: Explore how to build an active and engaged audience of faith communities, advice on posting interesting content, as well as creating events and using Groups for discussions.

Facebook Groups: Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, discussing issues and ideas, posting photos and sharing related content.

Facebook Events: Host virtual events using Facebook Events to spread the word.

Utilising WhatsApp: Consider sending bite-sized sermons or recordings through the voice note feature on WhatsApp to members, using either the dedicated broadcast list function or creating a New Group list.

Watch Party: Host a Watch Party for your Group, choosing videos that are relevant to your community and invite members to join and discuss.

Facebook Live: Stream live events and performances in real time, utilizing interactive features such as reactions, shares and comments enabling you to further engage your audience.

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