With the rise of the internet and social media, the number of people calling themselves “divine” has increased from about 2% in the 1950s to more than 20% in 2010.
But many people also say they are “saved” by the “divinity” name because it makes them feel “special”.
But what exactly is it about the “devil” that makes it so powerful?
We spoke to the people behind the divinity name to find out.
“The word ‘devout’ was the word that I wanted to use for myself when I was young, because it was the one word that was in my head that would make me feel special,” said Daphne, a 23-year-old graduate student.
But she was also struggling with how to express her “spiritual” values.
“When I first started using the name, I was struggling with my own identity.
I was ashamed of my religious values,” she said.
“So I used the name ‘Devil’ because it sounded spiritual.”
The first “devout” family Daphine met at a conference was the “Mormon” family in Arizona.
“We were all just looking for a way to say our spirituality was in alignment with the Mormon faith,” she told us.
Daphne’s mother is also a “devo” — she believes that God is both a father and mother to the children she has with him.
“My mom is a spiritual person, but her spiritualism is very narrow,” she explained.
“She doesn’t see the whole picture.”
Dagny, the mother of four, also said that her “devotion” to her religion is rooted in her family history.
“There’s a real sense of a family history, where we’ve been here before,” she recalled.
Her mother’s family were “devotional” to the word “saints” because she wanted to find a way for her to be connected to the name.
It was the family who helped Daphanne find the name she wants to keep.
“I was really looking for that word that said ‘God is a loving father’, and so my mom decided that I should use the name God,” she added.
“God was just a perfect name for me.
I just wanted to say ‘God’ because I think it means love and respect and love and understanding.”
Divinity 2 switches, a family in the process of switching, has the right to change its name if the family believes that its values are not compatible with the name being used by others.
“As I’m doing my research and talking to the experts, I’m finding that many people in my family are still calling themselves ‘devo’,” she said, “so I wanted them to know that there’s nothing wrong with saying ‘Devo’ in a family name.”
“As I am learning more about the religion of God, I am also learning that the name is not the name of a divine entity,” she continued.
“It is the name that God gave me, and God gave us a way of saying our faith is in alignment.
And I think the name has the power to be powerful and express the message that we have to God.”
When the family switched, Daphnes mother, Dagny, took the name from her parents and sister.
“That was the moment I really felt like I could say my faith was not in conflict with the way I see God,” said Dagny.
The family decided to change the name to Divine Justice.
Since then, they have “devoted our lives to the teachings of the Mormon Church and our beliefs in Jesus Christ, and our commitment to serve God with integrity,” she shared.
While the word is a common name for many religions, it is still not a popular one among many “devotees” of the word.
“Many people don’t even know the meaning of the name or the word ‘divine’,” said Dagys mother.
A survey conducted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2018 found that the word had the second most negative reputation among the 1,900 Mormons surveyed, followed by “devotio”, the Greek word for “god”.
“I have been called a ‘devotios’, a ‘biblical whore’, a Bible-thumping atheist and even a ‘God killer’ and I have been accused of using the word to describe other people,” said one of the survey participants.
However, some “devotions” have changed names and have not been banned from their congregations.
In March 2019, a woman in the UK named Kaitlyn was charged with making “anti-Mormon, homophobic and transphobic comments” after she told an anti-gay couple that they were “damn, we can’t live