Houses of worship gain audience by going online during virus

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(AP) – From the Vatican, to the village church, to mosques and temples, shuttered places of worship are streaming religious services for a global audience during the pandemic.

Many viewers are embracing the change as they seek spiritual help and connections with others.

One of India’s most revered Hindu shrines is livestreaming prayers. At Jerusalem’s Western Wall, prayers went online as throngs of worshippers disappeared from the holiest site where Jews can pray. An Islamic leader in Texas says the audience for his YouTube videos has shot up in the last six weeks. And a Vatican spokesman says online viewership of Pope Francis “has grown significantly.”

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