Muslim-Vatican Group Calls for Common Day of Prayer to End Coronavirus Pandemic

Pope Francis greets Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar, after an Interreligious meeting at the Founder's Memorial in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. Pope Francis has asserted in the first-ever papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula that religious leaders have a duty to …
AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

ROME — The Vatican-sponsored Higher Committee of Human Fraternity has called for a common day of prayer and fasting, asserting that the world is “facing a great danger that threatens the lives of millions of people around the world due to the growing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”

“While we reaffirm the role of medicine and scientific research in fighting this pandemic, we should not forget to seek refuge in God, the All-Creator, as we face such severe crisis [sic],” the message states.

“Therefore, we call on all peoples around the world to do good deeds, observe fast, pray, and make devout supplications to God Almighty to end this pandemic,” the statement reads.

The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity grew out of the Document on Human Fraternity signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, during the pope’s trip to the United Arab Emirates in February 2019.

The committee was established to ensure the objectives of the Document and meets with religious and other world leaders “to support and spread the values of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.”

The Higher Committee “aspires to undertake complex challenges facing communities of all faiths, with an approach of openness, learning and dialogue,” its website states.

In its message Saturday, the committee urges each one “from wherever they are and according to the teachings of their religion, faith, or sect” to “implore God to lift this pandemic off us and the entire world, to rescue us all from this adversity, to inspire scientists to find a cure that can turn back this disease, and to save the whole world from the health, economic, and human repercussions of this serious pandemic.”

Moreover, the text invites believers of the world of any and all faiths to make Thursday May 14 “a day for fasting, prayers, and supplications for the good of all humanity.”

Religious leaders and peoples around the world are invited to “together beseech God Almighty to safeguard the entire world, to help us overcome this pandemic, to restore security, stability, healthiness, and prosperity, so that, after this pandemic is over, our world will become a better place for humanity and fraternity than ever before.”

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