Christopher Hitchens asks fans not to pray for him

Author and vociferous atheist Christopher Hitchens, who was diagnosed with cancer this summer, has appealed to his religious fans and friends not to “trouble deaf heaven” with their “bootless cries” for his recovery.

Writing in October’s issue of Vanity Fair, Hitchens revealed that, since he announced in June that he was undergoing chemotherapy on his oesophagus, he has been inundated with thousands of offers of prayers for his health and salvation, from all kinds of religious persuasions. “Devotional websites consecrated special space to the question,” said Hitchens. September 20 has been designated “Everybody Pray for Hitchens Day”, and he has even found a website inviting people to put money on whether he will renounce his atheism and embrace religion by a certain date, “or continue to affirm unbelief and take the hellish consequences”.

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