Second Life is the online game produced by San Francisco-based Linden Lab in which participants create a virtual world. It is attracting 4 million users and several religions are finding a presence in Second Life. Incidentally, the online 3-D persona which users create is known as an avatar – Sanskrit word for the incarnation of a Hindu deity.
Hindu religion has only a small presence in Second Life. This will change soon, as more and more Hindus get to know about second life. Hare Krishna community has more than 75 members.
How does religion exist in Second Life? For example, Jewish citizens of Second Life have created synagogues.
Beth Brown, a 33-year-old Orthodox Jewish artist from
, says she didn't intend to start a community when she built the first virtual synagogue, Second Life Synagogue-Temple Beit Dallas , in September. Israel
"When it came to be, it shed a light on the lack of Jewish community," she said. Within an hour of its creation, two avatars were there, and now the virtual synagogue has more than 200 members.
"Once people started coming, I felt deep down inside that this was an obligation to the Jewish people around the world," she said. "This is the most emotional thing I've ever done in my life."
Buddhism, Islam and Christianity have made their presence in Second Life.
Many people might not have even heard about Second Life. But Christian missionaries have! And one Church broadcasts its weekly sermon in