Religious leaders in Jerusalem in a joint prayer for health
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    Religious leaders in Jerusalem in a joint prayer for health

    Credit: Noam Rivkin Fentom

    Leaders representing all faiths in Israel gathered today in Jerusalem in a joint prayer for health in the coronavirus crisis.

    The prayer was composed by the Israeli chief rabbinate and translated into a unified form. Spiritual leaders representing Judaism, Islam, Christianity and the Druze community in Israel participated in the event and prayed to the Almighty for an end to the pandemic and a quick recovery of all infected people.

    The prayer event was also a protest against rising nationalism, xenophobia and racism in the wake of the pandemic and coordinated with the World Council of Religious Leaders, an independent organisation which works to bring religious resources to support the United Nations in the common quest for peace.

    “In these turbulent times, we continue to hear growing voices against entire communities. This new dire reality has affected all humanity, regardless of religion, gender and nationality. Out of true faith in solidarity, we now call on all citizens of the world to join forces and carry a joint prayer to health and unity.”

    Joint Global Prayer

    God of all creatures, Lord of all generations, He arouses those who sleep and awakens those who slumber, He heals the sick, opens the eyes of the blind and raises those who are bowed down. We come before you with a bowed head, and with bent stature, and plead.

    Hundreds of thousands have died, millions have fallen sick. Save, we beseech thee, O Lord. We entreat thee, O Lord, send prosperity! Send complete recovery to the sick, avert the plague from Your world.

    Please – God, You who have nourished us in famine and provided us with plenty, You have removed us from pestilence, and freed us from severe and long-lasting disease – Help us.

    Until now, Your mercy has aided us and Your kindness has not abandoned us, therefore we plead and request before You to heal us, Lord and we will be healed, Save us and we will be saved, for You are our glory. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing before you, O Lord, my rock and redeemer.

    WHO on religion

    As previous reported, The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a document with practical guidance to support the special role of religious leaders and faith-based organizations in COVID-19 education, preparedness, and response. Faith communities play a major role in containing the spread of the coronavirus, according to WHO.

    The coronavirus crisis affects all religions and prevents their followers from praying in their places of worship, celebrating weddings, attending funerals, and visiting cemeteries. The lockdown measures have also affected the celebration of family holidays such as the Jewish Passover, the Christian Easter and the Muslim Ramadan. The month-long Ramadan starts on Thursday (23 April).

    This year everything is different and people have to use social media to communicate with family members who cannot attend the traditional meals. Only those living under the same roof can celebrate together because of the lockdown restrictions.

    The WHO Director-General himself, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, made a passionate plea for national unity and global solidarity at his virtual press conference on Monday (20 April). “The virus exploits cracks between us and is fuelled by political divides.”

    Recalling his own experience of war, poverty and diseases, he underlined that the mortality figures are not just numbers. Behind every person who has passed away because of COVID-19 is a unique human being, a son, daughter, brother, sister,  father, mother, grandfather and grandmother.

    M. Apelblat
    The Brussels Times