The characters of Blizzard’s multiplayer shooter Overwatch are a popular bunch. From creating incredible cosplay, to recreating the character’s weapons as LEGO sculptures and to producing amazing songs, artwork and works of fiction, Overwatch fans will go to extraordinary lengths to show their enthusiasm. This latest Overwatch creation, though, may be the most impressive of all.
In a new report published by a Brazilian publication, the author successfully manages to register an official church of Hanzo. Called the Hanzo National Church, the newly founded religious entity enjoys the same benefits as other religious groups, such as being exempt from certain taxes, including taxes on services and products related to spreading the good word of Hanzo. The decision to worship the “murderous archer” over Brazilian DJ Lucio, or Mercy or Zenyatta (two characters who are steeped in religious iconography) is just because Hanzo resembles Jesus.
The report also explains some rules of the Hanzo National Church: church members can request a “free Tuesday” each month to allow them to play Overwatch all day, the consumption of high-calorie foods is “encouraged,” and referring to someone as a “Hanzo Main” during matches is also considered an offensive term.
Additionally, the church is allowed to sell pirated Hanzo merchandise (these goods aren’t taxed and are considered religious expression) and members are baptised by playing Overwatch or, if they can’t afford it, they can play the free to play shooter Paladins instead.
Admittedly, the creation of the Hanzo National Church is not borne out of a love for the character. Instead, the author went through the process to show how ridiculous the Brazilian legislative system is. Over 65,000 religious organizations have been registered in the country since 2010, and the suggestion seems to be that many of them were only registered to avoid paying tax. The fact that it’s so easy to set up a church for a video game character sort of proves the author’s point.
But with that said, the entire situation is amazing and this is unlikely to be the last time that an Overwatch fan does something outlandish. In the past few weeks, players have rigged up a boxing glove to play as Doomfist, turned a breadstick into a motion controlled sniper rifle and Overwatch fans continue to write stories, songs and much more to celebrate the game. It seems that their creativity knows no limits and it’s exciting to see where fans will take it next.
Overwatch is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.