Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, has called for praying together for an end to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, praising the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity for launching the ‘pray For Humanity’ initiative.
He said people of all faiths and traditions are called to pray and fast together for delivery from the pandemic.
“The day of prayer against the pandemic reminds us that we are all brothers and sisters, no matter our religious affiliation.”
“Today, the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity has called for a day of prayer and fasting to ask the merciful God for an end to this tragic moment of the pandemic. We are all brothers and sisters. Everyone prays as they know how, as they can, according to what they have received from their culture. We aren’t praying against each other. We are united in humanity as brothers and sisters.”
None of us expected the coronavirus pandemic, he said. Now it is upon us, and “many people are dying, many of them alone.”
“May God put an end to this tragedy - this pandemic - and have mercy on us. And may He put an end to the other terrible pandemics of hunger, war, and uneducated children. This we ask as brothers and sisters, all together. May God bless us all, and have mercy on us.”
Dr Ahmad Al Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar, said the “pray For Humanity” call should be marked as a memorable occasion to promote amicability, worldwide.
In a statement he made on Thursday on the occasion, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar said: “ We should mark this day as a memorable occasion to be inscribed on the slate of human history and celebrate it every year with the purpose of promoting a world where amicability and diversity values prevail instead of fanaticism, bigotry, hate of the other, and discrimination among people on the basis of faith, color, race, and wealth.”
“Our fellow brothers and sisters all over the globe, I salute you with the greeting of Islam: May God’s peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you.
“It gives me pleasure to address you on such a historic day, speaking about human fraternity and kinship and hoping that God’s mercy embraces us all at such a hard time during which the entire world is groaning under the burden of this ferociously sweeping pandemic, which is unprecedented in modern history.
“This call for prayer issued by the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity is a sincere call on everyone to make devout supplication to the One Who possesses everything. It is a prayer in which we beseech God, turning to Him and seeking refuge in Him, to immediately lift this distress and deliver humanity from its unpropitious consequences, to heal the patients, and to have mercy on the deceased out of His divine bounty and munificence.
“Now as we call the world today to turn to God, the Omnipotent, and draw closer to Him through worship and prayer, we likewise urge the entire humanity - under the common human bond that ties them all together - to work on rediscovering the values of justice, peace, coexistence, and equality among all humans.”
Lebanese President Michel Aoun has called for responding to the initiative of Ahmed Al Tayeb, and Pope Francis to pray for humanity so that God protects mankind from the threat of the coronavirus.
According to the National News Agency of Lebanon (NNA) President Michel Aoun said that the call made by the “Higher Committee for Human Fraternity” to dedicate May 14 for prayer, fasting, supplication and charity work, each in its place, according to his religion or belief, falls in the core of the goals of the initiative previously launched and approved by the United Nations General Assembly to establish the “Academy of Humanity for Meeting and Dialogue” in Lebanon to contribute to building a human civilisation based on acceptance of the others whatever their affiliation and belief are, and on the mutual enrichment by being different, and on the right of diversity as a guarantee.
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