Centuries-old theological disputes have broken out in cyberspace as religions aim to influence the future presentation of faith on the Internet.
The forum for the rivalry is not the pulpit or church bulletin, but the website of ICANN, the corporation that oversees the Internet address system and now wants to expand it beyond the usual .com, .org or .net domains.
When ICANN began accepting applications for new names early this year, bids came for extensions such as .catholic, .islam and .bible. Not far behind were critics who challenged many applicants' right to monopolise those and other religious terms.
"I respectfully ask you not to award .bible to a bunch of hardcore Bible-thumpers," wrote one critic of an application by the American Bible Society to manage that extension.
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