Muslim and Catholic leaders appeal for world day of prayer to end the coronavirus

Posted on May 2, 2020

Gerard O’Connell, America’s Vatican correspondent | May 02, 2020

The Vatican has today published an appeal from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity to religious leaders and believers in God worldwide to hold “a day for fasting, prayers, and supplications” on May 14 to ask God to rescue the world from the coronavirus pandemic.

The committee draws attention to the “great danger” from Covid-19 “that threatens the lives of millions of people around the world” and says, “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.”

Image:  Muslim men wearing masks offer prayers at a mosque on the first Friday of Ramadan, May 1, during the coronavirus pandemic in New Delhi. (CNS photo/Anushree Fadnavis, Reuters)

Muslim men wearing masks offer prayers at a mosque on the first Friday of Ramadan, May 1, during the coronavirus pandemic in New Delhi. (CNS photo/Anushree Fadnavis, Reuters)

It calls on “all peoples around the world to do good deeds, observe fast, pray, and make devout supplications to God Almighty to end this pandemic.” It continues that “each one from wherever they are and according to the teachings of their religion, faith, or sect, should 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.”

The committee “invites all religious leaders and peoples around the world to respond to this call for humanity and 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.”

The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity is a body established in September 2019 as a concrete response to the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, during the pope’s visit to the United Arab Emirates in February 2019.

It is composed of nine members, including Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Mohamed Hussein Mahrasawi, president of Al-Azhar University, Monsignor Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, personal secretary of Pope Francis, and Judge Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Salam, advisor to the Grand Imam. It seeks to promote that Document on Human Fraternity, which reminds people everywhere that we are all brothers and sisters and members of the one human family, a point that is reinforced by today’s call to prayer and fasting.

The appeal was published on May 2 in English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Afghan, Malaysian, Persian, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu, Chinese and Jewish.