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God's Hotline launches next week

By Adriana Stuijt     Mar 1, 2009 in World
On March 7, the Dutch mobile telephone number 31 6 44 244 901 will become God's own Hotline. The idea comes from Dutch artist Johan van der Dong of Grijpskerk in the Netherlands. He wants God to be reachable by everyone so people can leave messages.
He says people these days almost cannot live without a telephone any longer.. And he's dead-serious when he says that he believes that praying could becoming as meaningful as it was in humanity's distant past, if people could also speak their prayers and thoughts into God's Hotline voicemail.
He told Digital Journal reporter Adriana Stuijt that he's formally opening God's Hotline on 7 March at 4pm at Groningen city's Northern railway station - where the entire stairwell has been turned into a free public art gallery, the Kunstruimte. The mobile phone for God is just an ordinary prepaid Vodaphone without any fancy bells or whistles except a voice-mail facility, he said.
Alas, God only speaks Dutch right now...
The caller will hear a voice-mail message delivered by various Dutch poets - and Van der Dong fervently hopes that callers then will also leave messages in return. Alas, God only speaks Dutch at the moment - but callers can leave messages in any language because God is all-encompassing.
"People leaving messages can place their thoughts on this voice mail, and it becomes another form of prayer,' he says. He believes in a God but is not of any formal denomination, he says.
"A long time ago, in humanity's long-distant past, people started praying to God for many things, normally holding up their hands or folding them in prayer, asking God for deliverance and to help them."
Now, he feels, prayer can reach a similarly high level of devotion if people could pray to God on His own personal hotline.
After the first week, the voice mail will also play back a collage of messages in which the callers' voices will be changed so that they won't be recognised, he said. see
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