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Science & Tech

New e-prayer rug offers digital support to Muslim prayer

By Joseph Hammond — June 10, 2021
(RNS) — To help guide new and young Muslims, the rug uses voice prompts and an LED display that shows the correct postures of prayer.
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Meet the Friendly Neighbor Epidemiologist encouraging her fellow Christians to get vaccinated

By Emily McFarlan Miller — May 19, 2021
(RNS) — Written in epidemiologist Emily Smith’s friendly, informational voice, the Facebook page has grown to more than 96,000 followers.

For evangelical leader Jamie Aten, advocating for vaccines led to a death threat

By Bob Smietana — April 27, 2021
(RNS) — Aten, who teaches at an evangelical college, has received swarms of angry anti-vaxxer emails — including one saying his work was ‘punishable by death.’

CDC director: Masked, fully vaccinated people can safely attend worship indoors

By Jack Jenkins — April 27, 2021
(RNS) — ‘As we gather more and more data on the real-world efficacy of vaccines, we know that masked, fully vaccinated people can safely attend worship services inside,’ said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

Likes and prayers: Facebook tests new ‘prayer post’ feature

By Emily McFarlan Miller — April 21, 2021
(RNS) — The idea for prayer posts grew out of the myriad ways users have connected over Facebook while distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the spokesperson.

Black Protestants aren’t least likely to get a vaccine; white evangelicals are

By Yonat Shimron — March 5, 2021
(RNS) — A new survey by Pew Research shows that 64% of Black Protestants 'definitely or probably' plan to get vaccinated, compared to 54% of white evangelicals.

In ‘The Salvage Crew,’ a Buddhist AI poet seeks aliens and enlightenment

By Bob Smietana — February 17, 2021
(RNS) — Yudhanjaya Wijeratne's new novel was created with the help of an AI poet and a few computer programs — and explores his love of poetry and his Buddhist background.

Celebrating Ash Wednesday in a pandemic? There’s an app for that

By Emily McFarlan Miller — February 16, 2021
(RNS) — Catholic prayer and meditation app Hallow also has taken the day's most visible tradition online with an 'AshTag' filter on both Facebook and Instagram.

‘Uber for imams’ app offers Muslims virtual khutbahs — and community

By Joseph Hammond — February 2, 2021
(RNS) — A virtual hub called ImamConnect aspires to provide everything from Muslim circumcisions to headstone engravings on a platform designed to be an ‘Uber for imams.’

Faith and the COVID-19 vaccine: ‘Using the Black church to get the word out’

By Julie Schonfeld — January 26, 2021
(RNS) — The Rev. Jacques Andre DeGraff of Canaan Baptist Church of Christ in Harlem talks about how Black communities are overcoming distrust of the medical community.

Faith and the COVID-19 vaccine: ‘Muslims were among the first to believe in vaccines’

By Julie Schonfeld — January 21, 2021
(RNS) — A conversation with Imam Mohamed Magid on the safety and theological underpinning of taking the vaccine.

In ‘Can Robots Be Jewish?’ rabbis weigh in on a Jewish pastime: disagreement

By Yonat Shimron — December 16, 2020
(RNS) — The questions in this collection, part of Moment Magazine’s long-running feature ‘Ask the Rabbis,’ offer a model for what is fundamental to Judaism.

With vaccines on the horizon, faith leaders could play a crucial role in promoting their use

By Jack Jenkins — December 10, 2020
(RNS) — Asked about his participation in the Moderna vaccine trial, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld replied, ‘It’s the most important sermon I’ve ever given — by far.’
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