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God 2.0 and Prayer Technology

The Greek Orthodox Church has come up with a creative way to keep ex-pat Greeks feeling connected to the church. Now, anyone who can’t make it
to the church of the Virgin Mary on the Aegean island of Tinos for the August 15 pilgrimage can email a “heart-felt prayer” to a priest, who will read their name in front of the icon of the Virgin Mary. This is part of the Greek Orthodox Church’s strategy for being more appealing and accessible to a younger
community. Similar strategies have been going on in Israel for more than four years. You can email a message that will be printed out and concealed between the stones of the Western Wall. This sounds a
little suspicious though. I mean, whenever I try to put even a tiny note in the kotel it’s hard to find a place to put it, let alone pages and pages of emails and faxes. In other prayer technologies, there’s a cell phone that will always point you in the direction of Mecca, remind you when the five daily prayer times begin, and contains the entire text of the Koran. And there’s a prayer gadget with candle-type-things that light up when you swipe prayer cards. There are a few things that I think are better done in a low-tech fashion. Praying might be one of them.

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