(Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)
Those concerned about the Malaysia Airlines plane that has been missing since last Friday have united in an international prayer effort, with one social media user starting the "PrayForMH370" hashtag on Twitter to encourage viewers to offer their thoughts and prayers for the missing plane's 239 passengers and crew.
The Twitter hashtag "#PrayForMH370" has been used by social media users in various countries, who either tweeted their personal prayer for the missing plane or created drawings or phrases to show the world they were thinking of the missing passengers. Along with adding the Twitter hashtag, a Twitter page has also been set up with the handle "MH370."
One such inspirational message posted on the @MH370 Twitter page is from Devanshi Saksena and reads: "The internet shows us how small the world is, but a missing plane shows us how big the planet can be. @MH370Flight."
Another message posted on the Twitter page reads: "Keep praying, keep hoping, keep believing. God has a plan." Still another message reads, "Never underestimate the power of prayer #PrayForMH370."
Along with social media, those concerned about the missing plane have used other methods of prayer, including meeting in various Islamic mosques, Buddhist and Hindu temples, and Christian churches to pray for the plane. According to USA Today, some even gathered at the upscale Pavilion Mall in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to write prayers on special "message of hope" displays set up to grieve the missing passengers.
"I want to send them loving kindness, and the hope that they are in a safe place and happy, whether here or on the other side," accountant Jeffrey Sim, a 60-year-old Buddhist, told USA Today.
A prayer service was also held by several faith groups and a former Malaysian prime minister at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where Malaysia Airlines flight 370 took off for Beijing on early Saturday after midnight. The plane then reportedly disappeared less than an hour later somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam, though it wasn't reported missing for another hour.
The mystery surrounding the disappearance of MH370 has fueled bouts of speculation and misinformation. The Pentagon announced Thursday that it has an "indication" the plane may have landed somewhere in the Indian Ocean, and the U.S. is currently moving the USS Kidd to the area to begin searching.
This most recent news comes after Malaysia denied a report by The Wall Street Journal that suggested the plane flew up to four more hours than originally thought due to data transmitted by the aircraft. The search for the plane has also been extended beyond its original path over the South China Sea to the western side of Malaysia.