A recent article in Salon makes the case that the Internet is gradually weakening the influence of religion, primarily by being searchable, allowing for more extensive debating of the topic, and making it easier for atheists to prove their points by providing relevant links. The point is made that the Internet might also make it more difficult for religions to continue to be the only or leading source of information for their followers.
Among the evidence cited is that the Church of Latter Day Saints found it necessary to publish a series of essays dealing with things in the Church’s history, such as polygamy and a ban of Black Church members. Also cited is Pope Francis’s attempts to (in some athiests’ views) make the church seem more humane and modern.
While there may be some truth to these assertions, Jared Haftel and I think it would be more accurate to say that the Internet is detrimental to congregations or churches which have become blighted by authoritarianism and ignorance. A broader exposure to different points of view and a wide scope of information should help deal with such issues, which are not the true essence of the religions.