On the one hand, there is one of the world’s largest religions, and on the other is a subculture interested in anthropomorphic animal characters. Things might get interesting when the two sides meet.
In 2019, a video titled "Hund the Hound Meets Jesus Christ" was uploaded on YouTube, where it shows a man wearing a blue dog mask and a plaid robe. He talks about his gadgets for his videos, drops one of them, and after trying to pick it up, he hits his head and then faints. After that, the screen shows his vision of Jesus Christ — or someone playing his role. His viewers, even from the Christian furry community, had several questions.
The 33-year-old Ohioan man, Hund the Hound, is both a furry and a Christian. Hund and many other Christian furries believe that having two different identities is not problematic, while some disagree with their opinion.
The furry fandom planted roots in the Underground comix movement in the 1970s. The furries engage in anthropomorphism where they put human characteristics to animals. Hund's fursona is of canines.
The International Anthropomorphic Research Project (IARP), a group of multidisciplinary scientists, is researching to comprehend the furry fandom better, naming the summary of research FurScience. They have researched 40,000 furries about their anthropomorphic lives. Sharon E. Roberts, one of the four co-founders of FurScience, and the associate professor of social development studies at the University of Waterloo in Canada, said, "Furries do not identify as animals; they identify with animals."
According to the data from FurScience, a relatively small number of furries consider themselves religious. Enquiring them about their religious belief, 1/3rd of the furries bluntly said that they are either agnostic or atheists. At the same time, a quarter of them identify as Christians, but not many of them regularly attend churches or practice their faith, according to research findings.
Just like other comic book media fans of Marvel, DC, and so on, the furries also gather at large conventions such as the Anthrocon and the Midwest FurFest. Some spend their time designing costumes while others play online role-playing games. In 2019, the attendance report was more than 11,000 furries attending the cons.
From 1998 to 2001, a movement called "Burned Furs" was created to counter the acts of perversion within the furry fandom to rectify its public image by a group of concerned furries. According to the FurScience website, the furry fandom is now more family-friendly after separating the "adult" segment into different events.
Another co-founder of FurScience and an associate professor of psychology at Bishop's University, Courtney Plante, said, "Given that most furries are LGBTQ+, this may preclude many from being religious, especially if the religion is at odds with LGBTQ+ people."