Airport chapels offer haven to more faiths

This seems a positive development. I am glad more people are using them.

Across the country, chapels designed to offer passengers refuge and reflection in bustling airports are making changes: Removing denomination-specific decor, adding special accommodations and hosting services geared to accommodate an increasingly diverse group of travelers flying with faith.

“There are representations of almost every faith,” said Cook, who recently oversaw a $200,000 renovation that more than doubled the chapel to its current size. “There are Buddhists in their orange robes, there are some Hindus … I helped a Wiccan one time.”

About 1,500 people per week visit the chapel, a fraction of the 250,000 people who pass through the world’s busiest airport each day.

Although the practice might annoy some Christians:

Removing the crosses and other typical markers of church to make others welcome might seem extreme in a more traditional chapel.

But the nation’s roughly 34 airports with chapels cater to a mixed community with a changing range of faith needs, according to the Rev. John A. Jamnicky, former chaplain of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and a 20-year veteran of travel ministry.

Well, freedom of religion has to mean freedom for religions we disagree with.

My wife found a rather novel use for the nondenominational chapel in the Dallas - Fort Worth Airport last Christmas. She found it was the cleanest, quietest and most private area to breastfeed our baby. When we had asked at the information booth for a place, we had been told to use a stall in the women’s toilets. The chapel was much better and we’re glad it was there.

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