Richard Wray

London: God moves not only in mysterious ways but increasingly in technological ones as Christians have come to embrace the latest gadgets. British believers, already able to get daily passages from the scriptures delivered as messages on their mobile phones, are now being offered downloads of the Bible on to handsets.

A South Africa-based company has launched in the U.K. an offer of the Good News translation and the contemporary English version of the Old and New Testaments for download by text message for £6 (about Rs. 490) each.

ChristianMobile, which is backed by South African Church leaders, 141 Bible societies and New Holland Publishers, also intends to offer “daily inspirations” — biblical passages — by text message.

The evangelical Christian movement has been particularly quick to embrace new technology. When 3G mobile phones were introduced in the U.K., many of the first mobile-enabled websites contained Christian content.

In the U.K. alone there are several services offering religious-based content, such as pray4u.co.uk, which aims to bring “the word of God direct to your phone.”

ChristianMobile’s next expansion may prove more controversial. Its marketing executive, Bertus Preller, said he wants to offer a service in Bahrain, China, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen and Iraq. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2007

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