Shafaqna Pakistan: Pope Francis has called people of all faiths to fast a day in Ramadan and pray to God to end the pandemic. He called the people of all faiths to unite, pray, and fast on May 14th. The entire humanity should ask “God to help humankind overcome the coronavirus pandemic,” said Pope Francis.
Pope Francis, the head of Catholic Church and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Egypt, Ahmed Al-Tayab have welcomed the call of Higher Committee of Human Fraternity to pray on May 14th.
The top inter-religious Higher Committee of Human Fraternity calls for worldwide prayers on May 14th. The day falls in Ramadan in which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. Also, Egypt’s Al-Tayeb welcomed the initiative in a Facebook post.
He invited people from around the world to pray and do charitable works for the sake of Allah to lift this pandemic off.”
What Pope Francis said?
Pope Francis said, “Because prayer is a universal value, I welcome the committee’s call to believers of all faiths to be united on 14th May.”
“A day of prayer, fasting and charitable work, to pray to God to help humankind overcome the coronavirus pandemic,” he added.
Monsignor Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, an aide of Pope Francis calls May 14th a historic day. He is also a member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity and priest in Egypt.
“It will be the first time that all humanity has united for a single goal: to pray together, each according to their faith, giving proof that faith unites, not divides,” said Gaid. He said that pandemic has ravaged the communities indiscriminately across the world.
“The virus has made us understand our fragility and the need to unite as brothers. We can’t come out of this separately,” said Gaid. COVID-19 has brought us all to our knees. But kneeling is the best position to pray,” he added.
Pope Francis and efforts of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity to unite humanity may end the discriminatory practices based on religion across the world.
The committee says people should also pray for the scientists to find a vaccine. Meanwhile, the pandemic has proved science and faith compatible. “There is complementary. Science without faith remains without horizon, and faith without science remains without support. This is a great lesson of COVID-19,” said Gaid.
World leaders support the call
Call of Pope Francis to fast in Ramadan received overwhelming support globally.
World leaders including UAE’ Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Lebanese President Michel Aoun have supported the call. Moreover, the United Nations chief Antonio Guterres also supports the call of collective prayers on May 14th. He says he will take part in the ‘prayer for humanity’.
“In difficult times, we must stand together for peace, humanity, and solidarity,” Guterres stated. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew has also supported the call.
Higher Committee of Human Fraternity
UAE had helped create a Higher Committee of Human Fraternity last year which consists of top members of all the faith. The committee has an aim to apply principles and values stipulated by HFD-Human Fraternity Documents. Now it has 11 members from Spain, Italy, the UAE, Britain, Bulgaria, Egypt, America, and Liberia. Moreover, the committee seeks to achieve its goals through inter-faith communication. The committee meets religious world leaders to ‘support and spread the values of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.’
Meanwhile, this call of Pope Francis to fast in Ramadan might help counter Islamophobia. The Islamophobes have used coronavirus to vilify Muslims globally.