When is trolling trolling? Amid news that the outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins had suffered a minor stroke, the Church of England’s Twitter feed included a simple request: “Prayers for Prof Dawkins and his family.”

A wave of hostile tweets claimed the church was being “crass” and “offensive.”

The Rev. Arun Arora, the undaunted director of communications for the Archbishops’ Council, said the church’s Twitter feed was a “regular diet of prayer” and the tweet for Professor Dawkins was genuine.

“Many recognised the tweet for what it was, a genuine tweet offering prayer for a public person who was unwell,” he wrote in a blog post. “What is clear in some of the responses is a misunderstanding of what prayer is, who does it, and who it is for.”

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