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Kill the Covenant; Find the Lord

Churches across the US are hosting weekly Halo nights in order to try and bring new audiences into their community.

Churches across the US are hosting weekly Halo nights in order to try and bring new audiences into their community.

According to a report in the New York Times, the game - rated Mature, and therefore only intended as entertainment for over-17s - is an effective tool in enticing the "elusive audience of boys and young men" through the doors.

Once there, following a hefty bout of intense killing action, the pastor can deliver a Christian message - as one youth minister, Gregg Barbour from Colorado Community Church, Denver, put it: "We want to make it hard for teenagers to go to Hell."

Unsurprisingly, given the game's violent content, which clashes with Christianity's belief set, the move has caused some consternation.

James Tonkowich, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, feels that churches should aim higher: "If you want to connect with young teenage boys and drag them into church, free alcohol and pornographic movies would do it. My own take is that you can do better than that."

Regardless, the move seems to be proving successful, and the opportunity to use the game as the basis for morality discussions is leading several churches to invest in more AV equipment in order to cope with demand.

However, while one violent videogame is a tool in the hands of church leaders in the US, in the UK the story is a little different, with today's news that the Church has pleaded with BAFTA to remove Resistance: Fall of Man from its list of nominations.

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Phil Elliott

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