After delivering sermons and visiting slums, Father Fiel Pareja tends to his Gen-Z flock on TikTok, creating videos of himself praying, dancing and lip-syncing Christian pop music for 1.6 million followers.
As the pandemic forced places of worship to close across the country, tech-savvy priests like Pareja turned the popular video-sharing platform into a virtual pulpit to connect with young believers.
Pareja spends up to six hours a night in his room recording short videos for TikTok — snatching a few hours sleep before starting his real-world pastoral work.
The challenge is to create relatable content, creative and “not boring,” said the 30-year-old, who was ordained just weeks before the pandemic lockdowns.
Wearing a black cassock and clerical collar, Pareja recites Bible verses and offers prayers in English and Tagalog. His over 670 videos have each been liked tens of thousands of times and earned him the nickname “Father TikTok”.