Brazilian Evangelical Christians Create Facegloria, a Violence and Pornography-Free Version of Facebook; 100K People Sign Up in First Month

Thousands of people attend the Jesus Parade in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 4, 2015. The parade unites Christians and Evangelical churches in a public expression of faith, praising and worshipping Jesus Christ. | (Photo: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker)

A group of Brazilian evangelical Christians has seen its Facegloria social networking website attract 100,000 users in its first month, offering a "morally better" version of Facebook that is centered on God and free from violence and pornography.

"On Facebook you see a lot of violence and pornography. That's why we thought of creating a network where we could talk about God, love and to spread His word," one of the founders, web designer Atilla Barros, told AFP in an interview.

"We want to be morally and technically better than Facebook. We want all Brazilian Evangelicals to shift to Facegloria," Barros added.

While Facegloria has similar functions to Facebook, it also has some faith-inspired changes, such as offering an "Amen" button instead of "Like."

Cursing is not allowed on the website, which has a list of close to 600 banned words. It also prohibits any kind of violent or erotic content, and does not allow photos or videos depicting same-sex activity.

Barros, who envisioned the website three years ago alongside three other Christian colleagues while working at the mayor's office in Ferraz de Vasconcelos, said he's hoping Facegloria will be a big hit.

"In two years we hope to get to 10 million users in Brazil. In a month we have had 100,000 and in two we are expecting a big increase thanks to a mobile phone app," he said.

Evangelism has been growing in Brazil, and today 42 million Brazilians out of the 202 million population identify as Evangelicals. The Roman Catholic Church continues to claim the majority of adherents, however, with a 64.6 percent share of the population, according to the CIA Factbook.

Facebook remains by far the largest social networking site in the world, and recently passed 1.23 billion monthly active users.

Facebook has been accused of seeking to limit religious expression, however, with a National Religious Broadcasters report from 2011 claiming that the social network removes content deemed "anti-gay."

"The position of Facebook on the issue of homosexuality and its collaboration with gay right group the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination, coupled with its troublesome written policies, are all strong indicators that its social networking platform poses a high index of risk for anti-Christian discrimination," NRB said at the time.

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