Religious Leaders and Prayer Warriors Petition T-Mobile to Stop ‘Unjust’ Charges to Prayer Callers
Movement gains traction, surpassing 1,500 signatures, sparking social media conversation to #KeepPrayerFree
LOS ANGELES, March 29, 2017 – Freedom to Pray, a nonprofit advocating on behalf of individuals who are being forced to end their participation in prayer groups through free conference lines due to T-Mobile’s $0.01 per minute fee, continues its efforts to bring attention to this issue. As its online petition at www.freedomtopray.org gains traction, social media efforts are mobilizing individuals to speak up on behalf of those who are no longer able to pray on free conference lines because of the added expense.
In addition to those directly affected by the fees, several high profile individuals have signed on to the campaign, showing their support for keeping prayer free. These include: actor Kevin Sorbo, author and radio host Autumn Miles, television hosts Honnie Korngold and Holly McClure and film producer Bryan Hickox.
Comments from those who have signed the petition show the devastating impact these charges are having on prayer movements around the country. A Fayetteville, N.C., T-Mobile customer wrote: “I was on a line and had to quit. I’ve been with T-Mobile through 2 name changes, since 2002. I’m retired and my phone bill is high even without the prayer line. I miss the prayer support. I tried to keep it but just can’t. My friends with other services are still able to use free conference call. Shame on T-Mobile.”
A Bible study leader from West Palm Beach, Fla., said “We had a conference call for our Bible study, and cell phone users received a message prior to connecting indicating we would be charged .01 a minute. Due to the charge I had to cut my study short.”
It’s clear that T-Mobile’s actions are causing a decline in prayer around the nation, at a time when many are saying we need prayer more than ever. Prayer ministry leaders involved in the movement, such as David Butts, president of Harvest Prayer Ministries, and Kay Horner, Executive Director of The Helper Connection & Awakening America Alliance, agree.
“Not only is this disappointing to the individual T-Mobile user, but on a broader scale, freedom of religion is impacted by preventing people from praying because of the additional cost,” Horner said. “T-Mobile’s actions constitute a spiritual attack on the larger prayer movement undergirding our nation and impacting the world.”
It is estimated that millions of minutes were being spent in prayer on free conference lines each month, before T-Mobile started its charges in October. David Erickson, founder of FreeConferenceCall.com, attributes a 20 percent reduction in free conference line use to T-Mobile’s charges on prayer lines.
“A majority of our numbers or users affected were prayer lines or people that pray,” Erickson said. “It’s sad to see that prayer line users seem to be disproportionately affected by these fees, and that is why we have joined with Freedom to Pray, to help bring attention to this issue.”
T-Mobile continues to position itself as the “Uncarrier”, broadly advertising its plans as having no extra fees, while targeting a diverse demographic of individuals looking for the most economic plans, then hitting them with extra “out-of-plan” fees, which most users cannot afford and are not expecting. The social media outcry has been fierce, and now major national media outlets have begun to pick up the story, including CBN’s “700 Club,” and American Family Radio News.
Through the Freedom to Pray website, FreedomtoPray.org, individuals can stand in support of those being charged for prayer by signing an online petition expressing concern about T-Mobile’s attack on prayer and requesting a call to action. The movement also urges individuals to share socially with friends and family using #KeepPrayerFree to encourage them to become informed and involved in the initiative.
For additional information, visit FreedomtoPray.org.
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Note to Editors: For more information or to request an interview with Freedom to Pray leadership, please contact Melany Ethridge or Heidi McDow at (972) 267-1111, or via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find press materials online at www.alarryross.com/newsroom/freedomtopray.