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Pastor wants churchgoers to tweet from pews

Commentary: A German pastor believes you should share your prayers in the moment. So he holds special Twitter services.

2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Should God and the cellphone work together?

Patrick Baz / AFP/Getty Images

Much of what you read on Twitter is bile. How uplifting, then, that there's someone who'd prefer a little Bible. 

Pastor Ralf Peter Reimann of the Walloon Reformed Church of St. Augustine in Magdeburg, Germany, believes that social media can be an excellent medium for disseminating prayer.

As NPR reports, he holds Twitter services. 

During these, pew-occupiers are encouraged to pull out their phones and share their thoughts and prayers. Jesus had followers, so does everyone these days.

"There are lots of people who live online. We want to include these people and offer them to participate in a way that's comfortable to them," Reimann told NPR. And why not? 

Not only is it good for Twitterers to see some comforting, spiritual words in the midst of the anger and invective, it's also surely heartening for churchgoers to be able to tell people that they're praying for an end to world madness and a return to some sort of recognizable sanity.

In a way, though, using your phone in church might look like a public and shameless confession that you're hooked on your phone.

Indeed, not everyone is moved positively. One churchgoer told NPR that they go to church for inner peace, rather than to offer a piece of themselves to the social media world.

Still, it's not as if this is the first time that technology has been introduced into houses of the holy. 

In 2013, research suggested that 20 percent of Americans admitted using phones in church. I suspect, though, that at least some weren't using those phones for entirely devout purposes. 

An Italian priest got so fed up of phones going off in his services that he installed a jammer in the church.

Ultimately, technology's brutal march is devilishly difficult to stop. It's a painful temptation that infiltrates our minds and completely alters our behavior. 

The choice that Reimann makes is to integrate it as positively as he can into his services. I wonder, though, whether he sneaks onto Twitter after the service, just to check his faithful haven't been tweeting about, say soccer and President Donald Trump .

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