Filipinos of various religious affiliations prayed together on Thursday, May 14, as part of the observance of the global interfaith prayer to end the coronavirus pandemic.
In a video posted on social media, leaders of different faiths in the country enjoined the faithful to implore God to put an end to the health crisis.
The worldwide day of prayer was the initiative of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, which was formed by the United Arab Emirates in 2019 to work toward the goals laid out in the Document on Human Fraternity released in Feb. 2019 during Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to Abu Dhabi.
Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, said the pandemic “has shown us a very important aspect of our life that we are all connected to each other.”
He said it is time to be together and be one in addressing the situation in caring for the sick, for the front-liners, and in giving hope.
Venerable Miao Jing Shih, head abbess of Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple, said “this is a time to give trust, to give confidence, and to give hope.”
“It is also the perfect time to practice kindness and goodness” and not fell into fear, frustration, and anger.
“We see this as an extraordinary confirmation of our shared responsibility to our neighbors,” said Teodulfo Arago, national coordinator for inter-religious dialogue of the Focolare Movement.
Dr. Genevieve Balance-Kupang of Sandiwa and Mandala Peace Arts Initiative, Inc. prayed for God’s mercy to heal the sick and all those affected by the new coronavirus disease.
“We thank you also for all the front-liners worldwide. We beg you to continue to strengthen them. Empower them with your Spirit so that they can find the solution to this crisis,” she said in her prayer.
Sister Rajni Daulatram, national coordinator for the Philippines and Japan of Brahma Kumaris, expressed her gratitude to the people in the frontlines against the disease.
Ebra Moxsir, president of the Imam Council of the Philippines, said called for unity. “Let us not discriminate and maintain our compassion, humility, and sincerity,” he said.
“Through this daunting challenge of the pandemic … we called upon to serve, to lead, to exercise patience, compassion, and support all those afflicted by the virus,” said Dr. Lilian Sison, secretary general of Religions for Peace Philippines.
Elder Aretemio Maligon of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called on the faithful to participate in relief projects as opportunities arise.
The National Council of Churches in the Philippines has issued a prayer “for the poor and the neglected in the face of COVID-19” in response to the call for the global day of interfaith prayer.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines earlier appealed to the faithful to join the inter-religious day of prayer and fasting with “acts of charity.”