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More And More People Turning To Social Media For Religious Release

Facebook Has Suddenly Become The Place Where Many Go For Prayer
(credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Is cyberspace home to the Almighty?

As the digital frontier pushes ever forward, people have been increasingly turning to the Web to pray.

There are numerous apps available that will deliver spiritual or religious messages to your phone or Facebook page.

Some people, though, have started doing the reverse. You can Tweet prayers to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, for example.

Oriana Cyprus from Manhasset is on Facebook for fun, for work and for a sense of religiosity.

“I find that Facebook has taken almost like a spiritual turn,” she said.

As CBS 2′s Maurice Dubois reported, the interior designer and mother of three posts notes to her late father on her Facebook page.

For Cyprus, it’s almost like lighting a digital candle.

“It’s all just energy you’re sending out into the universe, right? So, it’s all the same,” she said.

Cyprus said she does not think her father sees her Facebook messages about him.

“I posted it more for me, I guess, than for him, really,” Cyprus said.

But some New Yorkers are a bit skeptical of sending out their prayers via the World Wide Web.

“Hopefully, God has better things to do than to check people’s Facebook updates,” said one man.

“I think it’s a little creepy,” added a woman.

Jonathan Blake is called the “Social Media Rabbi,” CBS 2′s DuBois reported. The 39-year-old rabbi said he even tutors his Bar Mitzvah students online.

“Facebook is an amazing tool for spiritual leaders,” Rabbi Blake said. “We’ve discovered a powerful new 21st century tool for elevating the spiritual lives of people everywhere.”

As to whether online prayer is a sign of the times — consider that Pope Benedict XVI recently joined Twitter.

Do you think there’s a difference between praying via social media and praying in person?