Tuesday 11 August 2020 - 5:22:30 pm

Higher Committee of Human Fraternity calls for global day of prayer on May 14 in response to COVID-19


ABU DHABI, 8th May, 2020 (WAM) -- The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, called on religious leaders and faithful around the world to a day of fasting, prayers and supplications for the good of all humanity on Thursday May, 14 for an end to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic. The statement was issued in 14 languages, Arabic, English, Chinese, Spanish, German, Italian, Persian, Hebrew, Turkish, Urdu, Pashto, Swahili, Indonesian and French and reads as follows: Dear fellow believers in God, the All-Creator, our brothers and sisters in humanity everywhere, Our world is facing a great danger that threatens the lives of millions of people around the world due to the growing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 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. Therefore, we call on all peoples around the world to do good deeds, observe fast, pray, and make devout supplications to God Almighty to end this pandemic. 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.

As part of its efforts to realize the objectives of the Document of Human Fraternity, the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, HCHF, calls for a Day of Prayer on Thursday May 14th, 2020, a day for fasting, prayers, and supplications for the good of all humanity. As such, the Committee invites all religious leaders and people around the world to respond to this call to beseech God Almighty to safeguard the world, to help mankind overcome this pandemic, to restore security, stability, health and prosperity, so that, after this affliction is over, our world will become a better place for all mankind.

The call is part of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity’s efforts to realize the objectives of the Document of Human Fraternity. It invites people around the world to lay all their differences aside and come together and assume their responsibilities against this virus, the first and true enemy of humanity in this era.

Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue of the Holy See, President of the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity (HCHF), stressed the importance of this humanitarian call to action, inviting all people wherever they are to join in prayer on May 14th to Pray For Humanity, as it faces a great danger due to the increasing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, stating, " through our invocations to God Almighty and our concrete actions, we may transform our world to a better place to live in unity, solidarity and fraternity"

Judge Mohamed Abdel Salam, Secretary-General of the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity, HCHF, said: "The overwhelming response with this call for prayer from leaders and peoples around the world is a true testament to human solidarity and grants us hope in achieving global unity based on human fraternity principles for the safety, security and health of all mankind."

He also noted that seeing all believers come together in prayers and supplications for an end to this pandemic is dream come true of a universal human unity, which is much needed now more than ever. "We will implore God Almighty for his grace and mercy and trust that He will respond to the hopes of millions asking to be saved from this deadly pandemic," he continued.

Professor Mohamed Hussein Mahrasawi, President of Al-Azhar University and a member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, HCHF, stated, "In light of a global crisis strong enough to devastate lives and offset world economies, our belief is God Almighty is much stronger. We will pray for Humanity. We will raise our palms to the sky and implore Him to save us from this pandemic, secure in our belief that He will encompass us in his mercy and care." Al Mahrawi also called upon on all affiliates of the prestigious Al-Azhar University to join this pioneering humanitarian initiative.

US-based Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig, Senior Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation and member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, HCHF, added, "Just as all of us have seen how the global pandemic has taken lives and livelihoods, we have also witnessed it reveal some of the best qualities in humankind. Today, I am asking you to connect to those qualities and join me in a global day of prayer and lovingkindness on Thursday, May 14, 2020."

Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO and member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, HCHF, expressed her thanks to the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity for this remarkable humanitarian initiative stating, "Most significantly, for the first time, we are seeing this type of cooperation and solidarity between all members of human family. The "Prayers for humanity" event has united millions of peoples’ hearts around the world."

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture in Abu Dhabi, member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, stated that, "Regardless of our religion or beliefs, at times of crisis we all raise our voices to God Almighty, because we believe that it is He who is capable when humans are helpless, and His mercy is greater than any dangers we may face. That is why we turn to Him, pray to Him and implore him to save humanity."

Monsignor Yoannis Lahzi Gaid, Personal Secretary of His Holiness Pope Francis and member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, HCHF, said: "As we await a cure that would spare humanity from this deadly pandemic, our only hope is that God Almighty will save the millions suffering around the world, and help scientists and researchers to succeed in finding the eagerly-awaited cure. We will fast with our Muslim brothers and come together in praying to God to save humanity and inspire our scientists and researchers to find a cure."

Dr. Sultan Al Remeithi, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders and member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, HCHF, said, "Something positive which should be recognized during this crisis, is the spark of hope which this humanitarian initiative started, uniting prayers and hearts around the world for a common good, imploring God Almighty for salvation from the COVID-19 pandemic and from world plagues of hate, discrimination and antipathy".

Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace activist and Nobel Peace Laureate, member of the Supreme Committee for Human Fraternity, HCHF, thanked those in charge of this timely- call stating, "I am extremely thankful to the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity for the timely call for the world to come together in prayers and devout supplications. Beseeching God to save our world from Covid 19 and all other forms of socio-economic and human consequences. Seeking refuge in God to unite our hearts as one people globally."

Yasser Hareb, Emirati Writer and TV Presenter, member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, HCHF, stressed that human solidarity is a value that transcends all limits, "On Thursday we will raise our voices to God Almighty in prayer and supplication to protect humanity from this pandemic as we have witnessed how harm afflicting one person, can in turn harm all of humanity." Father Professor Dr. Ioan Sauca, the Secretary-General of the World Council of Churches, member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity (HCHF) called on all members of the WCC to join in a global day of prayer on May 14th, adding, "Due to this pandemic, many of our people suffer from a state of fear, mistrust, shock, isolation, social distancing and have even experienced deaths within their families or their ecclesiastical communities. While we continue to suffer from this global health crisis, our global solidarity through prayer will reflect our innate feeling of responsibility and care towards one-another."

The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity seeks to bring humanity together in prayer on Thursday, May 14, in what will be the largest gathering of humanity for one goal. The event will be accompanied by unprecedented media coverage, through the Committee’s social media accounts with two hashtags in Arabic and English, #صلاة_من_أجل_الإنسانية and #PrayForHumanity to allow people to interact and share their videos, photos and posts.

WAM/Hazem Hussein/Hatem Mohamed