At a time when religion's place in the public square is the topic of legal battles, and when God and prayer are being removed from schools, Americans continue to turn to a higher power in the face of tragedy.
Last year, cheerleaders at Kountze High School in Texas fought to display banners sharing messages of faith at football games, and a community in Santa Monica was forced to discontinue its 59-year tradition of displaying nativity scenes in Palisades Park. An atheist couple in Massachusetts challenged reciting the Pledge of Allegiance's "under God" phrase in public schools, and the Pew Forum found that an increasing number of people don't belong to a specific faith.
Despite its precarious position on the national stage, faith is playing a central role in today's social media reactions to the explosions that rocked the finish line at the Boston Marathon this afternoon.
Along with updates about the number of people killed and injured, Twitter users are sending out pleas to God and requesting others to join them in appealing to a higher power.
Some of these tweets are being shared by prominent religious leaders.
Other Twitter users are also sharing faith-based messages using the hashtag #prayforboston, which is trending on Twitter.
Celebrities and well-known organizations are also sharing their prayers.
Some Twitter users are noting the discrepancy between the role religion has been allowed to play publicly and the role it is playing now, in a moment of crisis.
Still other users are reminding their followers that 140-character statements are not enough.
Information about the explosions and their affect on Utahns is available here.
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