Facebook is now aiding religious groups with a new initiative for “[k]eeping your faith community connected through the COVID-19 outbreak.”
The site launched its “Faith on Facebook Resource Hub” to help religious communities reach out to their followers on March 25 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.. The Hub includes step-by-step guides on managing Facebook groups and donations and also has a downloadable “Faith on Facebook toolkit.”
“At Facebook, we’re working to keep people safe and informed about the recent outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19)” the page explained, before vowing that the platform is “committed to providing as much support as possible.”
Near the top of the page, Facebook’s Faith-Based Partnership representative Nona Jones and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg explained how Facebook’s tools will aid faith communities around the world.
“We actually did something companies don’t do very often, which is we changed our mission,” Sandberg commented. This was followed by Jones explaining that Facebook “ saw an opportunity to help people who care about their faith connect to communities of faith that may not necessarily require them to go to a building.”
The website listed “5 steps you can take today,” each with their own drop-down details and descriptions:
1) “Keep yourself and your community safe and informed.
2) “Stay in touch with your community.
3) “Host worship, prayer and study gatherings online.
4) “Build community through Facebook Groups.
5) “Use Facebook Fundraisers to raise support from your community.”
The “Host worship, prayer and study gatherings online” section provides users with tools to keep track of what’s happening in real-time around the world:
“Facebook Live enables you to be part of what’s happening around the world in real-time, no matter where you are. If your community can’t meet in person, you can use Facebook Live to host online events and stay connected, broadening your reach beyond the walls of your house of worship. Go live from the Facebook app on your phone to broadcast live discussions or services. For higher quality broadcasts, you can also use a camera and streaming software on Facebook Live. Learn more about how to go live on Facebook.”