According to the BBC, a multi-faith machine booth for prayers has been installed at a British university.
The Pray-O-Mat at the University of Manchester, a specially converted photo booth, offers more than 300 pre-recorded prayers and incantations in 65 different languages, accessible via a touch screen. The booth is free to use and is designed for people who wish to pray on the go.
Prayer selections include Christian prayers in English and German, as well as prayers for Buddhists, Muslims, Aborigine devotional songs, and even Jewish chants from an Orthodox congregation. Most of the prayers were recorded by the German artist Oliver Sturm, with the rest taken from radio archives.
The university conducted a three year research project studying nearly 250 multi-faith spaces in Great Britain and abroad. Despite difficulties in locating prayer spaces as they are often hidden from public view, the university estimates that over 1,500 multi-faith prayer spaces exist in the UK.
“Though the Pray-o-mat is a bit tongue-in-cheek, there is a serious message to what we’re doing” explained project leader Dr. Ralf Brand. “Successful multi-faith spaces do not need to be flashy or expensive. In many places a small, clean and largely unadorned space can serve adequately.”