Interstate to heaven? Evangelicals pray for 'highway of holiness'
A devout group of evangelical Christians in the Midwest are flocking to help purify a spot they believe the Bible has ordained as holy ground -- and it happens to be 1,500 miles of interstate asphalt.
Why the location?
According to CNN, the small contingent of churchgoers believe that Interstate 35, a sprawling highway running from Texas to Minnesota, is specifically mentioned in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 35.
"A highway shall be there, and a road," reads a portion of the chapter's verse eight, "and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it..."
But if I-35 is indeed the place, some Christians believe there's a lot of work to be done before the road can fulfill its saintly destiny, according to CNN's Gary Tuchman, who was on the scene in Texas as believers launched an effort to pray for the road.
"Churchgoers in all six states recently finished 35 days of praying alongside Interstate 35, but the prayers are still continuing," reports Tuchman. "Some of the faithful believe that in order to fulfill the prophecy of I-35 being the 'holy' highway, it needs some intensive prayer first. So we watched as about 25 fervent and enthusiastic Christians prayed on the the interstate's shoulder in Dallas."
Their prayers go out for safer neighborhoods, "more godliness" and also in hopes that businesses lining the highway, including strip clubs and other "unclean" establishments, might clean up their act.
Tuchman says the faithful also point to "a link between the area near this highway and tragedies that have happened in history, such as the bridge collapse on I-35 in Minneapolis last August and the assassination of JFK 44 years ago near I-35 in Dallas."
"We just want to say 'wow, why would this happen on one highway,'" one of the prayer campaign's organizers, Cindy Jacobs, told CNN. "Let's pray that there be safety for everyone on these highways."
Helping to publicize the groups' efforts is Christian televangelist Pat Robertson, who has featured the I-35 prayers on his Christian Broadcasting Network.
"What an amazing story," said Robertson. "Well, wouldn't that be wonderful... cut a line right down the middle of America and let it spread to both coasts."
Read more from CNN.com here
This video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast on December 20, 2007.