At a time when religion is at an all-time low among Jersey's youth, church groups have looked to a popular video game to get children into the Bible.
To give children the 'building blocks' of Christianity, local schools were recently gifted Bibles inspired by Minecraft.
'The Unofficial Bible for Minecrafters – Stories from the Bible told block by block' recreates Bible stories – including the Garden of Even and Noah’s ark – in 3D form and is meant for children aged 7 to 11.
Video: A trailer for the video game Minecraft.
Copies of it were recently donated to a number of primary schools as part of the Bible donation programme launched by the Religious Education Advisory Council (REAC).
Following a £2,000 donation from the Jersey Church Schools Society, Reverend Ian Pallent, a member of REAC, contacted local churches who also donated to the programme in order to purchase bibles for the schools. In total, 24 schools have received bibles with secondary schools receiving copies of the ‘New Living Translation of the Holy Bible’.
Trudie De La Haye, Head Teacher of St John’s School and Chair of REAC, explained that they had chosen ‘The Unofficial Bible for Minecrafters’ because the stories are retold in ‘block form’ and describe events using Minecraft features and humour.
Pictured: 24 schools have been donated copies of the Bible, including Le Rocquier School.
Reverend Beverley Sproats of St John’s Parish Church, which contributed 30 Bibles to St John’s School, added that the comic book style made the stories more "accessible".
The Council says the Bible is used to explore many themes during Religious Education lessons and helps students to understand key religions like Judaism and Christianity.
By having a Bible in class, students can learn how to look up passages and can explore the text first-hand. They can engage directly with the scripts and think about what the text means for believers, and for themselves.
Pictured: The Minecraft bibles were chosen for their accessible format.
Francesca Allen, Head of Humanities Faculty at Le Rocquier School, said the school “gratefully received” the donation. “We were previously having to print extracts from the Bible to support students in their Judaism and Christianity studies, which meant they never got to grips with how to negotiate a real Bible.”
The initiative comes as religion among Jersey's young people has hit an all-time low.
According to the 2018 Jersey Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, just 22% of islanders aged 16 to 34 say they have a religion. Figures from the 2015 Jersey Annual Social Survey showed that 37% of young people aged 16 to 34 identified as religious, demonstrating a 15% decline in just three years.
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