Did Georgia Rain Prayers Work?

ATLANTA (AP) _ The National Weather Service says there is a 50 percent chance of needed rain across much of north Georgia tonight.

The big question is: Will Governor Perdue and his state Capitol prayer service get any credit if it does rain?

Perdue led a solemn crowd of about 300 people yesterday in a prayer for precipitation to relieve Georgia's record drought.

A church choir belted out "What a Mighty God We Serve'' and "Amazing Grace'' as a keyboardist swayed to the rhythm. While preachers spoke, worshippers chanted "amen,'' and some stood with eyes closed and arms outstretched.

The hourlong event was billed as an interfaith ceremony, but only three Protestant ministers joined Perdue, who is Baptist, and Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle.

Nearby, about 20 demonstrators from the Atlanta Freethought Society staged a protest against the holding of a religious observance at the seat of state government. Police moved them when they cordoned off the streets before the event, and none were in sight at the end of the service.


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