Mormon church arms missionaries with 32,000 iPad minis

The Mormon church is planning to arm its missionaries with 32,000 iPad minis, as well as broadening its social media outreach.

This comes after a test programme last year which saw 6500 Mormon missionaries in the United States and Japan equipped with the devices.

Mormon leaders say using iPad minis has helped missionaries keep in touch with church leaders and with people who have expressed an interest in their faith.

Scholars say this is the latest example of the Mormon church’s gradual embrace of the digital age, and its recognition that door-to-door proselytising is not the most effective way to expand church membership.

The program will extend to all missions in United States, Canada, Japan and western Europe.

The iPad minis are outfitted with several apps that help missionary work, including a gospel app that includes scriptures, manuals, magazines and other teaching materials.

Missionaries who come from developed countries will cover the US$400 cost of an iPad mini, which will remain theirs after their mission period.

Missionaries are encouraged to use Facebook to find new members.

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