Christians give up Facebook for Lent

March 9, 2011 at 2:48 PM
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FRESNO, Calif., March 9 (UPI) -- Christian leaders in California said they are noticing an increasing trend of parishioners giving up Facebook for Lent.

Lisa Hendey, webmaster for St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Fresno, said it makes sense for Facebook to join the list of luxuries some choose to give up for the period between Ash Wednesday and Easter, McClatchy Newspapers reported Wednesday.

"In the past, it might have been giving up the extras, like chocolate or TV, but Facebook has become such a big part of people's daily lives they're contemplating giving it up, praying about it and discussing it," Hendey said.

However, Hendey said her position as webmaster for the church and running her own Web site for Catholic moms,, prohibits her from joining those giving up social media.

"It's a large part of the way I do my work," she says. "I likely will not give it up, but I will cut back on my use of it, especially Sundays, during the season of Lent."

Dan Hues, associate pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fresno, said Facebook is becoming a popular choice for Lent because of the amount of time people find themselves spending on the Web site.

"Facebook is huge," he said. "It's blown up to be almost ubiquitous. It's almost compulsive; that's why it makes sense to give it up for Lent."

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