There’s no denying that Overwatch has truly taken the world by storm since its arrival on the gaming scene in May 2016. Recently that storm has reached new peaks with a Brazilian fan taking his love for the game (and one character in particular) a step further and starting a cult… err I mean church!
Yes that’s right, you heard me correctly folks. Mateus Mognon, the fan behind the idea has successfully and officially managed to register The Church of Hanzo in the country of Brazil.
(Image courtesy of crownedkings)
For those interested in setting off to Brazil to join The Church of Hanzo, here are some of the rather amusing details for religious undertakings within the church:
- The church includes the ability for members to request Tuesdays off for “religious studies”
- Baptism is performed by playing one Overwatch match, but should a church member be unable to afford a copy of the game, you can alternately play a match of Paladins to achieve the same effect
- And quite possibly my favourite of some of the commandments (I guess you’d call them that) is the fact you’re forbidden from using the words “Hanzo Main”
Despite what you may think, The Church of Hanzo isn’t actually a legitimate effort to worship Hanzo or start a fully fledged Overwatch religion. Mateus, the fan responsible for the crazy idea, was simply trying to demonstrate how easy it is for a Brazilian to found a state-recognised church that receives the benefits of a religious institution.
According to Mateus, registering a church is actually relatively simple. All you need is a registered address, five people with signatures, a lawyer’s signature, a written statute, and some appropriate fees paid. A notary’s office will then approve the paper and you’re free to request tax immunity.
It’s a disturbing thought that it’s this easy to apply and be granted religious status. Mateus wrote a memoir of his events (which can be translated by google) where he points out that although the constitution means well in that it aims to protect religious freedom, the regulations are easily exploitable if you’re looking for a legal way to avoid paying taxes – or worse, launder money.
Sadly the real victim here is Hanzo. In many ways an outcast within the Overwatch lore and crew, Hanzo players are often considered trolls or *insert rolling sentence of expletives here* when they refuse to change characters for the good of the team. Not to mention he was the victim of a rather brilliant billboard campaign back in 2016 created and funded by the Cards Against Humanity group that showed the then-republican nominee, Donald Trump, wearing Hanzo’s garb or screaming at a monitor. This isn’t the first time Hanzo’s already shaky reputation has been damaged.
Honestly I’m not quite sure the fragile archer can take this new blow. Will the Church of Hanzo see him with a revival of love or a new flood of hatred? Either way, if this takes off I guess we’ll all have something new to put on our census forms under the religious category.