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Status: Active
Type: Generic
Category: Culture

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.church is a gTLD that was proposed in ICANN's New gTLD Program. Donuts' application succeeded and was delegated to the Root Zone on 15 May 2014, making the company the Registry Operator for the string.[1]


Applicant and Registry Operator

Two entities submitted applications to serve as registry operator for the .church TLD. However only one succeeded, due to an auction:[2]

  1. Donuts (Holly Fileds, LLC), this is one of 307 new gTLD by Donuts. Each application via a different LLC.[3] This applicant submitted a Public Interest Commitment, which can be downloaded here.

Previous Applicants

  1. Life Covenant Church, Inc., an inter-denominational church.


It was announced on 19 Dec 2013 that Donuts won in a private auction against Life Covenant Church, Inc. the right to .church. Donuts is now the sole remaining applicant and Life Covenant Church, Inc. will receive a pay-off from Donuts in return for withdrawing their application. The auction was administered by Applicant Auction.[4]

Independent Objector

The Independent Objector (IO) is a non-partisan, contracted appointee whose role was mandated by the applicant guidebook for ICANN's New gTLD Program, and who is responsible for officially objecting to new gTLDs that are dangerous to the public good. This process also involves reviewing "controversial applications," those that have received significant public comments, and investigating whether a public need for objection is provided for tin these comments. Thus, the Independent Objector issued a preliminary report on .church, noting that the articles and objections to the applications are largely supportive of a .church TLD but call in to question either applicant's ability to administer the TLD fairly. He sought assurances from both applicants to ensure that they would keep the TLD open and inclusive to all those that identify with the term "church" and use it to describe their religious habits, both were forthcoming and he concluded that no objection was warranted.[5]

Contract Signed

On 06 February 2014 Donuts received a Registry Agreement signed by ICANN for .church after passing all the required processes needed to become a Registry Operator for the string.[6]

Delegation and Availability

.church was delegated to the Root Zone of the DNS on 15 May, 2014, completing the successful application for the string.[1] General availability started on 17 September, 2014.