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O’Sanctus App, a catholic church management app, has been launched by Nigerian tech firm, Applus Dome Limited.

The O’Sanctus app, created in 2019 allows the catholic faithful to attend virtual services, reserve time with priests and make financial offerings.   

The app which has been garnered over 500 downloads (1.5MB), became popular as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown in Nigeria.

Reuters reports that the launch of O’Sanctus is part of a broader trend across Africa which has seen people worshipping remotely, often by watching sermons online, because of the widespread closure of churches.

The closures have played a crucial role in the battle to stop the novel coronavirus taking hold across Africa, which has the highest number of Christians of any continent – 631 million people as of 2018, or 45% of the continent’s population – according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.

O’Sanctus, originally launched as a church management tool for one parish, covers four digitized parishes and has garnered more than 3,000 subscribers.

Mercedes Otakponmwenhi, who runs Applus Dome Limited, said the app was set up with the aim of digitizing parts of church activities without realising that the highly infectious virus would force people to worship from home.

In a push to ease restrictions, authorities in Lagos last week said places of worship can re-open from Friday, Aug. 7.

But the need for digital worship is not over. Places of worship can open for services only once a week, and at no more than 50% capacity.

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