Following an unprecedented wave of church burnings, Jens “Jeb” Bergensten, current head of the wildly popular independent game Minecraft, has announced that on October 31st, all Minecraft subscribers will receive a mandatory update that will prevent the construction of any unauthorized churches.
“We thought long and hard about this,” Bergensten explained in a statement posted on the official Minecraft wiki website, “but we cannot allow this madness to continue.”
All new churches will require 501c3 tax exempt status, proof of which will need to be mailed to Minecraft’s headquarters in Mojang, Sweden. Once established, a license key will be mailed back through postal mail to the Minecraft subscriber, allowing the Minecraft player to build their church. Each license key will be applicable for one church. Any subscriber wishing to build another church will be required to request another license key.
William Anthony “Bill” Donohue, current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States hailed the move, but expressed surprise at Bergensten’s reaction. “To be honest, I never thought a Swede would have this much respect for the house of God. But you know what they say – sometimes God works in mysterious ways.”
The issue regarding church burnings in Minecraft was first noticed when YouTube users discovered that a search for “Minecraft church burning” yielded more than 100 results. After outraged parents contacted Minecraft’s corporate headquarters, the decision came quickly.
“When I invented Minecraft, I wrote it for people like me, extreme introverts with no life. We weren’t looking for this kind of attention,” stated Swedish creator Marcus “Notch” Persson. “Coming from country with an official state church, this kind of behavior smells of sedition.”
Some in the Minecraft community have suggested that despite attempts to put the matter to rest, today’s announcement opens up potential for further controversies in the future. A planned update to the “book” feature in Minecraft was to allow users the ability to assign titles to books. Bergensten announced that Mojang would be carefully monitoring how the community behaves after the update. “If Minecraft users continue to burn churches,” he observed, “we might have to require specific licenses for users to name books with religious titles such as the Bible. Time will tell.”