Prayer Booth

Scared of Flying? Stuttgart Airport Offers Multi-Faith Prayer Booth

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

Despite efforts to paint a sense of safety and security, some passengers still hold firm to their fear of flying. For the religious, offering up a quick prayer can sometimes lessen the fear, but why come up with your own “don’t let it crash” prayer when a booth down the hall can help do it for you?

Gebetomat Prayer BoothFor three months, a booth repurposed from those familiar photo stands in the mall will be placed in Stuttgart Airport’s Terminal 3 to offer up a variety of more than 300 prayers across 65 different languages and all major religions. The Gebetomat, or Pray-o-Matic, sits the passenger in front of a touch screen that they can then use to order their prayer of choice.

The Gebetomat may seem like a whacky creation dreamed up by a startup that probably won’t exist in the next 5 years, but the booth has actually been around for a while. Berlin artist Oliver Sturm first introduced the prayer booth in 2008 and has since installed them in a number of schools and museums. Airports though are to some extent a more logical locale for a little extra prayer help.

Airport spokesman Johannes Schumm said on Friday that the “prayer booth is an offer by the airport’s chaplains to provide a moment of contemplation” for passengers who’ve made it to their gate early or find themselves waiting for a connecting flight.

Some of the prayer options being served up by the Gebetomat cover the Lords Prayer (Christian), the Shma Israel (Jewish), the Muezzin’s Call to Prayer (Islam), the Hare Krishna (Hindu) and Tibetan monk chants, along with many others covering monotheistic, polytheistic and animist faiths. And for the American’s, there’s a bonus feature of picking which popular TV preacher they want praying for them.

Want to know what the booth is like? The Gebetomat website has a sampling of a few prayers.

Sources: AP

Photo: Ben White

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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