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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 22:41 GMT 23:41 UK
Online church blocks Satan visits
View from the pulpit
The pulpit and altar have been closed to the public
The world's first three-dimensional internet church has faced an attack from cyber demons who have been logging on as Satan.

The church has now been forced to restrict areas within the virtual world, including the altar and pulpit.

Cyber wardens can also instantly log out anyone who swears and blasphemes, consigning them to virtual hell.

But the cyber wardens are struggling to develop new security to rid the blasphemers from their midst.

A spokesman said they were looking for more money so they can employ wardens around the clock.

He insisted the church would carry on and added that John Wesley, the 18th century founder of Methodism, which sponsors the site, faced similar abuse.

The site was launched as a unique chance for Christians to worship interactively.

It attracts up to 10,000 visitors a day who can log on and choose a 3-D character which can kneel, sing hymns, hear a sermon and even shout "Hallelujah"!

However, the less pious - particularly from Australia and the US - have logged in as Satan, ranted from the virtual pulpit and shouted expletives in the aisles.

The church is run by a campaigning Christian online magazine, Ship of Fools, which takes a light-hearted approach to religion.

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