SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The coronavirus pandemic has created a unique moment of religious unity. All around the world people of faith and different religions are preparing to take part in a day of worldwide fast and prayer.
In Utah, last week the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints general conference, the church President Russel M. Nelson called for the members of the church to fast and pray on Good Friday for the end of the coronavirus pandemic.
“For all whose health may permit, let us fast, pray, and unite our faith once again. Let us prayerfully plead for relief from this global pandemic. I invite all, including those not of our faith, to fast and pray on Good Friday, April 10, that the present pandemic may be controlled, caregivers protected, the economy strengthened, and life normalized.” -Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Russel M. Nelson.
From that point forward it took on a life of its own on social media, a Facebook group was formed and right now over 379,000 people from everywhere in the world and many, many faiths have joined.
Jews, Hindus, Catholics, Coptics, Latter-day Saints, Sikhs, Muslims, Evangelical Christians, Wiccans, Atheists and many more.
Good Friday is traditionally a day of fasting and prayer for millions of Christians around the world. Now with the coronavirus pandemic, the day and the weekend of taken on a more significant and crucial meaning.
“This opportunity to pray together during the coronavirus pandemic offers a special moment of unity for the faithful during a time when communities throughout the United States and worldwide are physically unable to congregate for Holy Week and Easter because of COVID-19,” USCCB
The Navajo Nation facing growing COVID-19 numbers also called for a day of prayer this weekend. In a press release sent to ABC4 News, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, First Lady Phefelia Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, and Second Lady Dottie Lizer issued a proclamation on Wednesday, declaring April 10-13, 2020, as “Navajo Nation Family Prayer Weekend,” in observance of Good Friday and Easter and to encourage families to pray together for family members, neighbors, health care workers, governing officials, and those who are sick, and the families who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation.
“For many of us, prayer is an important expression of faith, love, and hope. It is an act of worship, and it offers healing, guidance, and comfort. Through prayer, we find the strength to overcome challenges and heartache. Prayers reminds us that we are not alone and that we are all children of God,” said Navajo Nation, Vice President Lizer.
“Also, we ask for everyone to continue to pray for our local health care providers, law enforcement, and first responders who are combating the virus at the front lines.” -Vice President Myron Lizer, Navajo Nation.
For all of the fear and sadness it seems the pandemic has for a brief moment united many people of faith.