A Call to Prayer to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic

23 April 2020, 3:27 PM

Recognizing that the coronavirus is spreading rapidly around the world and it is declared by the World Health Organization as a pandemic;

Noticing with deep concern that the pandemic continues to amplify human suffering and economic instability and it is is an existential threat to humanity as the global death is increasing on a daily basis;

Knowing that we all face COVID-19 globally, as a human family, as the disease is cropping up in most parts of the world and the virus has no regard for regional and national borders and does not discriminate based on religion, ethnicity, race, gender, age, politics or social status;

Being aware that the  pandemic has impacted religion in various ways, including the cancellation of the worship services of various faiths as well as the cancellation of pilgrimages related to observances and religious festivities; and that mosques, churches, synagogues, and temples are forced to close due to the pandemic and have offered worship through live stream amidst the pandemic;

Cognizant that in this time of great challenge and crisis we need the teaching of the Golden Rule which says, “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” as stated in different holy books, and express our unity in solidarity with those who suffer due to the pandemic, and to stand against all forms of hatred and discrimination arising from fear, intolerance and lack of understanding, and to be compassionate for the victims of the virus and send out a message of hope and encouragement; 

As people of faith, we turn to the Creator of the universe in such times of fear and uncertainty as we do in times of joy and celebration. Therefore, we call upon all faithful and people of goodwill to join us in the prayer to curb the outbreak of the pandemic.

Let us pray to the Creator to grant us his mercy and to dwell in us and show us how to face the challenges posed by the coronavirus.

We pray for those who suffer from the coronavirus and plead to the Creator for quick recovery of the affected and those who are in bed.

We pray for all the people who lost their precious lives due to the virus and for their souls to rest in peace.

We pray for the medical professionals, caregivers and researchers who are working day and night tirelessly to save lives.

We pray together as citizens of the world in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 and for its quick end and for the discovery of curative medicine.

As faith-based and interfaith organizations, we commit ourselves as much as possible to dispatch protective material supplies, face shields/masks, gloves and food items to the underprivileged communities.

We extend our support and cooperation by adhering to Government and World Health Organization health guidelines and by abiding to the laws of our respective countries and to educate the public on COVID-19 risk prevention and to request the public to follow health guidelines.

We welcome and support the call of the Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia under the facilitation of the Ministry of Peace of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the host country of the African Union, for the Africa-wide level Prayer Day to combat the COVID-19 pandemic through the coordination of the African Union.

May Peace, the Golden Rule and Compassion Prevail on Earth!

Done on April 23, 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

African Union Interfaith Dialogue Forum Steering Committee

Al-Azhar Center for Interreligious Dialogue

Union of Muslim Councils for East, Central and Southern Africa

All African Conferences of Churches (AACC) liaison office for African Union

Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of African and Madagascar (SECAM) liaison office for African Union

Baha’i International Community Addis Ababa office

Sikh Council of Africa

Hindu Council of Africa

Inter-religious Council of Ethiopia

United Religions Initiative-Africa

Written By

URI Director of Global Partnerships, URI Representative at the UN and the African Union, URI-Africa Regional Director, Former Ambassador