Mobile Service Offering Jesus Replies Shut Down

( [email protected] ) Jan 20, 2004 12:56 PM EST

HELSINKI –Text messages answering your prayers from Jesus on your cell phone? That’s the service one company was offering to the people in Finland for 1.20 euros ($1.52) per text message. However, after complaints by Finland’s mobile services watchdog, the company has been shut down after less than a month of operation.

"These kinds of services are against basic norms," Ville Nurmi, ombudsman for Finland's mobile content watchdog MAPEL.

Chief Executive Marko Hakala of Mobile G Host, transmitter of the prayer messages, said the service had been axed as soon as he discovered what was being offered. Mobile G Host has declined to name the sender of the messages, a company, which provided text messages delivered from Jesus.

"This was no gold mine... It seems you can't interest people in everything,” said Hakala. The number of prayers received was not reported.

One of the text message replies a Finnish tabloid Iita-Sanomat received after testing the service with a prayer of desperation was:

"Remember: unless you follow God's will much better than priests and pharaohs, you will not be allowed into the heavenly kingdom."