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Fundación Ramón Pané
World News

Pokémon Go-inspired app lets users find disciples and saints in the street

Rather than pursuing Japanese monsters, players of Follow JC Go! Can seek out Biblical characters and recruit them to join their own 'evangelisation team' - if they correctly answer Bible-based questions.

The application was developed by the Catholic organisation Fundación Ramón Pané ahead of a visit by Pope Francis to Panama next year for World Youth Day - an international celebration marked every two to three years.

Executive director, Ricardo Grzona told the Catholic news website Crux: "You know, Francis is not a very technological person, but he was in awe.

"He understood the idea, what we were trying to do: combine technology with evangelization."

The game, which is free to download for iPhone and Android device users, incorporates augmented reality and geolocation technology - allowing users to progress through the game as they walk about in real life.

Players can stop by a church or pray for the sick at a hospital as part of the game, which also allows them to collect 'spirituality', bread, water and denarii silver coins in public locations such as tourist attractions and shopping centres.

Follow JC Go! has initially been launched in Spanish. English and Italian versions are expected to follow in the coming weeks.

Launched in July 2016 by San Francisco-based software developers Nianti, Pokémon Go has been downloaded approximately 800 million times and grossed more than $2 billion.

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