Muslims and Christians call for prayer against coronavirus
Thursday, 14 May 2020
Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Ahzar Ahmed al-Tayeb launched an international call for prayer on Thursday for the end of the pandemic.
The Pope called for the faithful to pray together, “brothers and sisters of all religious traditions,” urging them to be “united as human beings,” as he celebrated Mass in his Vatican City residence.
From Cairo, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, a major institution of Sunni Islam (one of two major branches of Islam along with Shia), called “to implore Almighty Allah to remove all humans from this misfortune and to help scientists to succeed in finding a cure.”
“May God end this tragedy,” the Pope said, also referring to the “pandemic of hunger” which has already killed 3.7 million people this year and to the pandemics of “war” and “children without education.”
Francis and al-Tayeb signed a “document on human fraternity” in February 2019 in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), which calls for freedom of belief and expression and protection of places of worship, and advocates full citizenship for discriminated minorities.
The initiative has given rise to a follow-up group, the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity, which is the official organizer of this international day of prayer.