Religious Services Abroad the USS Abraham Lincoln

March 18, 2003

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

On March 18, 2003 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that "it is here... abroad the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf... on folding metal chairs, that shipmates utter private secrets and confessions, gather in Wicca circles for meditation, study Bible verses, offer up devout prayers to Allah, work their rosary beads, celebrate the Jewish Sabbath... The number of worshippers aboard has swelled since the Lincoln, steaming for its Everett home port, did a Jan. 1 turnaround toward the Persian Gulf... 'Our services have gone up at least 25 percent since the turnaround,' says chief religious program specialist Rich Kleiner... Those numbers could swell even more if air strikes begin, and casualties result... Decor inside the chapel -- open 24 hours for the dozens of daily services, study groups and individual meditations -- is simple. The altar is kept deliberately neutral, ready for symbolic transformation by Roman Catholic crucifix or Jewish ram's horn, incense or candle."