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Vatican backs worldwide interfaith day of prayer and fasting

On May 14, people of all religious affiliations are called to participate in a day of prayer, fasting, and acts of charity for the end of the coronavirus pandemic.

The worldwide day of prayer is the initiative of the Vatican’s Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, formed in August under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The committee sent out an appeal for prayer in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Pashto, Malay, Persian, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu, Chinese, and Hebrew.

“While we reaffirm the role of medicine and scientific research in fighting this pandemic, we should not forget to seek refuge in God, the All-Creator, as we face such severe crisis,” the committee wrote in the appeal.

It continued: “Each one from wherever they are and according to the teachings of their religion, faith, or sect, should implore God to lift this pandemic off us and the entire world, to rescue us all from this adversity, to inspire scientists to find a cure that can turn back this disease, and to save the whole world from the health, economic, and human repercussions of this serious pandemic.”

Pope Francis said that he had accepted the committee’s proposal so that “believers of all religions will unite spiritually on May 14 in a day of prayer and fasting and works of charity to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic.”

“Remember, on May 14, all believers together, believers of different traditions will pray, fast, and do works of charity,” Pope Francis said at the end of his Regina Coeli address on May 3.

Following the pope’s acceptance, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb and the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres both backed the proposed world day of prayer.

Read more at Catholic Herald

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