Religion in times of COVID-19
COVID-19 affects people of all faiths worldwide. We would like to provide an overview of different statements and initiatives by PaRD members in response to the virus. We do not claim that this overview is exhaustive and are looking forward to learning more about further activities.
Grammy winning songwriter Ani Zonneveld sees people’s great desire for music during the pandemic, because it’s heart-opening and -healing. With her spiritual songs, the Muslim American singer already tried to heal the wounds after 9/11. The attacks had brought her to the foundation of the US-based NGO and PaRD member “Muslims for Progressive Values”, looking for an Islamic language of Human Rights.
The timing couldn’t have been better: On January 20th, when the new US-President Joe Biden right after his inauguration would sign the executive order for the US to rejoin World Health Organization (WHO), PaRD hosted an event with WHO. The theme was COVID-19 responses and opportunities for collaboration with religious actors. Around 50 attendees from international networks and NGOs listened and discussed questions around vaccination, fake news and new opportunities for collaboration.
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PaRD Podcast on religious actors perspective on COVID-19
The podcast touches on Identifying Funding and Resource Gaps with COVID-19 in the Field: A Religious Actors Perspective on Health, Gender, Environment and Peace. The PaRD suggested product was selected to contribute to the digital series being launched as part of Geneva Peace Week 2020. Co-leads and group members from various work-streams have chosen to work on a podcast reflecting local voices from different faith backgrounds and geographical areas.
COVID-19 in India: Migrant workers lost everything
The migrant workers have been hit the hardest in India, says Kuki Rokhum, director of Training and Mobilisation with the Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief (EFICOR) based in New Delhi, in our PaRD Podcast. The migrant workers have lost their jobs, lost everything, many lost their lives as they walked home, Kuki reports.
DRC: Health training for religious leaders
Health training for religious leaders in remote areas of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is what Rev. Siyani Zimba, working for World Vision as a Channels of Hope Specialist on Ebola and COVID-19 response, reports on in our PaRD Podcast. The experiences with Ebola maybe made it easier for people to cope with the COVID-19 crisis, he says.
COVID-19: More funding for local communities needed
Religious communities and actors can and have shown to be sources of guidance and support, sharing the responsibilities of care and acting as a support network to vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. In many contexts, faith actors have played an important role through creative and practical approaches to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 measures and effects on vulnerable populations. Som-boon Chung-pram-pree, otherwise known as Moo, is the Executive Secretary for the International Network of Engaged Buddhists currently based in Thailand. In our PaRD Podcast he speaks about COVID-19 response in local communities.
Religious actors and COVID-19: Healing people’s anxiety
Another voice from the Buddhist community comes from Ms. Wah Wah Yu, Program Manager at the Spirit in Education Movement based in Yangon, Myanmar. In the PaRD Podcast, she speaks about the support religious actors can give to people in COVID-19 times.
The objective of this virtual roundtable, which was held on September 3, 2020, was to facilitate an honest exchange between stakeholders i.e. governmental entities, intergovernmental organisations, academia and faith-based organisations/ faith inspired organisations (FBOs/FIOs) on funding needs/gaps and invisibility of FBOs/FIOs, especially of local faith actors (LFA) and grassroot organisations as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prof. Mohammed Abu-Nimer, PaRD Co-chair/KAICIID moderated the roundtable, aiming to answer how we could be more responsive and supportive to LFAs working on the ground.
Religions as partners in COVID-19 response
This year's PaRD Annual Forum was different. The event has been held virtually with only few PaRD members physically gathering at Humboldt University in Berlin. But this didn't prevent high level speakers from joining the discussions! Despite all challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PaRD has hosted virtually its Annual Forum and General Assembly of Members 2020 from 3 to 4 September. The discussions focussed on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sustainable development and on ways of better communication between Faith-Based Organizations (FBO), Local Faith Actors (LFA) and governments to respond and get access to funding.
Trust between religions through the COVID-19 crisis
The COVID-19 crisis helps to strengthen the trust in interreligious partnerships even beyond the current humanitarian disaster, Prof. Dr. Azza Karam, Secretary General of Religions for Peace (RfP), is convinced. In our interview, she emphasizes the need for a collaboration that crosses national, religious and institutional boundaries, she reflects on how PaRD can respond to the crisis and gives an insight into the situation in New York.
PaRD Webinar on COVID-19 response on April 29th
PaRD hosted a webinar on COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges for religious/ faith actors and communities? Responses from the field and global Partners on April 29th.
See the presentations of: