Interreligious Prayer in Jerusalem

Posted on Apr 5, 2020

March 27, 2020

This is how they greet each other on the terrace of Jerusalem City Hall. No handshake is formally allowed to religious leaders invited by the mayor of the Holy City to ask God’s help against the Coronavirus.

Mayor of Jerusalem

“Jerusalem is the holy land for the whole world. The virus is a problem for everyone, not for Jews, Muslims or Christians.”

The Christian delegation is the largest, with the Greek Patriarch Theophilus III, Monsignor Pizzaballa and Brother Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land.

Custos of the Holy Land

“There was a moment of silent prayer in which everyone prayed according to their own tradition. I recited the Our Father, which is the prayer that Jesus taught us and which also contains the invocation to be delivered from evil”.

Two rabbis were present. Schlomo Amar is Sephardic.

Grand Sephardic rabbi of Jerusalem

“During prayer, I remembered that for the feast of Sukkot, for seven days, 70 sacrifices were offered, which was the number of peoples known at the time. Only on the eighth day, a single sacrifice was offered for the people of Israel. One of the commandments of the Torah for the people of Israel is to pray for the whole world.”

Two Muslims also accepted the invitation.

“I have 78 years, 10 children, 38 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. I worry about them, but I worry about all the other people too. They’re all somehow my family.”