Internet church a hit

Six months after an Afrikaans e-church opened its virtual doors, cyber visitors are flocking there in increasing numbers.

Doctor Stephan Joubert, editor of the e-church, said they had 91 232 hits on their website during July. This is a radical increase from the average of about 37 000 during the previous three months.

On Thursday morning, 31 685 hits had been recorded for the first four and a half days of August.

As far as they could determine, 28% of the visitors are definitely from South Africa and about 16% definitely from overseas. The origin of the rest cannot be determined. Among the foreign visitors, many are from the United States of America, New Zealand, the Middle East, Australia and Britain.

Hits were also recorded from countries as diverse as Colombia, Belgium, Morocco, Qatar, Canada and Finland.

The e-church ( sends out an e-mail sermon twice a week that is being read by at least 18 000 people, Joubert said.

Among the users of the e-church are many South Africans overseas for whom this is the only form of church available.

Disabled people who find it difficult to go to church also use it, as well as people who no longer feel comfortable in traditional churches, Joubert explained.

However, the e-church isn't attempting to replace local churches and therefore speaks of dual membership of the e-church and ordinary churches.