Jesus' Facebook fans are 'most engaged'
The Facebook page for Daily Jesus has 8.4 million "Likes."
September 5th, 2011
12:27 PM ET

Jesus' Facebook fans are 'most engaged'

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Take a guess: What Facebook page has a more highly engaged audience than any other? Justin Bieber’s? Kim Kardashian’s? Manchester United football club's?

No, it’s Jesus Daily, a page that had 8.4 million “Likes” and belongs to a North Carolina-based diet doctor.

The New York Times reports on the page, which Dr. Aaron Tabor began as a hobby in 2009 after he began using Facebook to promote a diet book he wrote and a Web-based diet business, which includes selling shakes and protein bars.

The page features a picture of Jesus dressed as a shepherd and is updated daily with biblical quotes, prayers and reflections on the man who Christians call the savior.

Here’s a post from Monday morning:

When I despair.......HE GIVE ME HOPE.
When I am sad.......HE BRIGHTENS ME.
When I stumble.......HE STABILIZES ME.
When I am damaged.......HE RENEWS MY LIFE. My Jesus. ♥

The Times notes that Jesus Daily is hardly the only wildly popular religious page and that the page speaks to a trend of people connecting with their faith outside of traditional religious institutions:

What is new is that millions of people are also turning to Facebook pages, like the Jesus Daily, created by people unaffiliated with a religious leader or a specific house of worship. With 8.2 million fans, the Jesus Daily counted 3.4 million interactions last week, compared with about 630,000 interactions among Justin Bieber’s 35 million fans, the AllFacebook.com analysis shows. The Bible Facebook page, run by the United Bible Societies in Reading, England, has eight million fans and also beat Mr. Bieber with about a million interactions.

Amid pages for Lady Gaga, Texas Hold’em Poker and Manchester United, Joyce Meyer Ministries is in the top 20, along with another page devoted to Jesus Christ, and the Spanish-language page Dios Es Bueno, or God Is Great.

The Times quotes religious figures talking about the promise and peril that social network presents to traditional religion and spirituality, including this one from Tabor, the Jesus Daily founder:

I want it to be about encouragement. There are so many people battling cancer, fighting to keep their marriages together, struggling to restore relationships with their children. There are people out of work, at the end of the line and I just want the Jesus Daily to be a central place where they find encouragement, no matter what battle they are fighting.

Your thoughts?

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Jesus • Technology

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