In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Religions for Peace and ACT alliance call on all people of faith to stop gathering in places of worship and to rather focus on the humanitarian help in their communities.
“We, as people of faith, must participate in the fight against this pandemic. We must do what we can to stop its spread.” In their joint statement, they admit that especially at this difficult moment, it is hard to abdicate places of worship. “It is particularly painful during these months of the year for several of our faith traditions who would usually be celebrating central religious occasions.” At the same time, they point out that medical experts advise against public gatherings and therefore also against worship services.
“In times of unprecedented crisis there is need to listen to our faith leaders, armed with faith and science, and to our medical establishments, and our governments, and common sense – all of which guide us that temporarily staying away from public spaces – including temples, mosques, synagogues, churches, gurudwaras – to avoid the risk of infecting one another, may well be the most effective means of saving lives.”
And they appeal: “This is not a time to dispute the body count and believe that faith alone will prevent and save. This is the time to show that faith is part of taking preventive and responsive actions to protect one another in every corner of our world.”
Religions for Peace and ACT alliance emphasize that faith actors should focus on their strength of being deeply rooted in the communities they serve. Local faith institutions, religious leaders and other faith-based organizations do respond to the needs of their communities due to the COVID-19 pandemic as humanitarian actors and long-term agents of change, they say.
Read the full statement here
See the global appeal of ACT alliance.