Pope Francis calls for prayer and fasting to end COVID-19

NEW DELHI: Pope Francis joined the Muslim leaders and other individuals across the globe in calling for world day of prayer to end COVID-19 pandemic.

Pope Francis has called on “believers of all faiths” to join the call to worldwide prayer on May 14, to observe Ramadan fast and prayer and works of charity to implore “God to help humankind overcome the coronavirus pandemic.”

After reciting the “Regina Coeli” prayer on May 3, Pope Francis, in his address, repeated the call for an interreligious day of prayer saying:

“Remember, May 14, all believers together, believers of the different [religious] traditions, to pray, to fast, and to do works of charity.”

A similar gesture was welcomed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders.

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Egypt’s Grand Imam

In a statement posted on Facebook, Dr. el-Tayeb said:

“I welcome the noble humanitarian call made by the committee to invite people around the world to pray, supplicate for the good of all humanity and do good for the sake of Allah Almighty, in order to eliminate this pandemic from the entire world.”

UN Chief supports call 

Antonio Guterres tweeted on Sunday, “In difficult times, we must stand together for peace, humanity & solidarity. I join His Holiness Pope Francis (@Pontifex) and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb in their support for the Prayer for Humanity this 14 May – a moment for reflection, hope, and faith.”

Earlier on Sunday, Higher Committee of Human Fraternity invited believers of the world of all faiths to make May 14, “a day for fasting, prayers, and supplications for the good of all humanity.”

The Committee said, “Each one, from wherever they are and according to the teachings of their religion, faith, or sect, should appeal to God to lift this pandemic off us and the entire world, to rescue us all from this adversity.”

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Other world leaders have also endorsed the May 14 call for prayer, including Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Lebanese President Michel Aounnand the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew.

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