May 22nd Africa Prayer Day to Counter the COVID-19 Pandemic
A CALL TO PRAYER AND ACTION TO COUNTER THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
From the AFRICAN UNION INTERFAITH DIALOGUE FORUM (AU-IFDF)
Recognizing that the Covid-19 is spreading rapidly around the world and is now declared a pandemic,
Noticing with deep concern that the pandemic amplifies human suffering and economic distress and is an existential threat to humanity, as global deaths increases on a daily basis,
Knowing that we all face COVID-19 globally as a human family, without regard for regional and national borders, nor any discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, race, gender, age, politics and social status,
Being aware that the pandemic has impacted religious communities in various ways, including the cancellation of the worship services, the cancellation of pilgrimages related to observances and religious festivities as well as the forced closure of Mosques, Churches, Synagogues, and Temples, thus forcing leaders to live stream worship and rituals,
Cognizant that in times of great challenge and crisis, the teaching of the Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated” expresses our unity in solidarity with those who suffer and our stand against all forms of hatred and discrimination arising from fear, intolerance and lack of understanding,
Appreciative of the selfless actions and responses of hundreds of faith leaders, their institutions and volunteers in mitigating hunger, food shortages, emotional distress, violence and traumas as confinement prolongs,
We, people of faith, we turn to the Creator in such times of suffering and distress as we do in times of joy and celebration. We, therefore call upon all faithful and people of goodwill to join us in the prayer to curb the outbreak of the pandemic.
Let us pray to the Creator to grant us His mercy and to show us how to face the challenges posed by the impact of the COVID-19.
We pray for those who suffer from the virus and plead to the Creator for quick recovery of the affected and those who are bedridden.
We pray for all those who lost their precious life due to the virus and may their souls to rest in peace.
We pray for the medical professionals, caregivers, the cleaners, the essential services staff as well as the researchers who are working tirelessly to save lives.
We pray for many of the women who are not safe while in lockdown, and request that measures be put in place to protect and support women facing the increasing risk of domestic violence.
We pray together as citizens of the world in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 and for its quick end and for the discovery of cures and treatments.
As faith-based and interfaith organizations, we commit ourselves as much as possible to dispatch protective material supplies, face shields/masks, gloves and food items to the underprivileged and affected communities.
We take this opportunity to reaffirm the equality of mankind and the urgency to avoid treating any human being, anywhere, as guinea pigs in medical trials without the informed consent of the participants of all risks involved.
We also appreciate and encourage the efforts and innovations of homegrown African medical researchers, medical engineers and doctors in their attempt to develop cures and treatments that reflect our traditions and values.
We extend our support and cooperation to health authorities, across the continent, by abiding to the laws of our respective countries and by educating the public on COVID-19 risk prevention and request the public to follow health guidelines.
We are declaring that the 22nd May 2020 as the “Africa Prayer Day” and should be observed in all the countries on our Continent.
May Peace, the Golden Rule and Compassion Prevail on Earth!
Done on April 29, 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
African Union Interfaith Dialogue Forum (AU-IFDF) Steering Committee