Seventeen Christian and Muslim organizations, movements and religious associations responded positively to the appeal. However, the official representative bodies of the Eastern Churches in Lebanon and Muslim communities have not yet responded to the call.
Beirut (AsiaNews) - Seventeen Christian and Muslim organizations, movements and religious associations responded positively to the appeal launched yesterday by the High Committee for Human Fraternity and accepted by the Imam of al-Azhar, Ahmad al-Tayyeb and Pope Francis, in in favor of a Day of Prayer, May 14, for God to remove the coronavirus pandemic from the planet and inspire scientists to find a cure.
Earlier this week, the Head of State welcomed this initiative, which the Nuncio had told him about, while also referring to "the Pope's closeness" in these decisive times for Lebanon and the Lebanese.
The membership of seventeen Muslim and Christian institutions is a real victory. This is especially true when we see in the list the Makassed, central institutions of the Sunni community, the "Religions and Cultures Forum for Development and Dialogue" of Sheikh Ali Fadlallah and the "Imam Sadr Foundation", two central institutions of the Shiite community, distinct from the movement Hezbollah politicians. Their presence side by side, at a critical moment in the political relations of power between the two communities, is of the utmost importance, as it pours into a dynamic of peace.
However, the official representative bodies of the Eastern Churches in Lebanon and Muslim communities have not yet responded to the call. An appeal from the National Committee for Islamic-Christian Dialogue chaired by Mohammad Sammak and Harès Chehab is expected in the coming days, according to informed sources.
Created after the meeting on February 4, 2019, in Abu Dhabi, between Pope Francis and Imam Ahmad el-Tayyeb (pictured), the High Committee for Human Fraternity states that this initiative is intended as a plea to God "so that saves humanity and helps end this pandemic and restore security, stability, health and prosperity in order to make our world more humane and more fraternal than before after the end of this pandemic."
Here is the joint press release published yesterday by the 17 institutions: "In response to the initiative of the High Committee for Human Fraternity launched under the auspices of Pope Francis and the Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad al-Tayyeb, who invited all people around the world to individually turn to God in prayer, fasting, supplication and good works, Thursday 14 May 2020, each according to their religious faith, creed and rituals, so that God will remove the life-threatening coronavirus epidemic of millions of people, help us fight this scourge and inspire scientists to find a cure, and that save the world from the disastrous health, economic and human consequences of this dangerous epidemic.”
"And as an expression of our national unity, of our social and religious responsibility and as a sign of our universal fraternal human solidarity, especially in these difficult circumstances that Lebanon is going through, having lost many of the means of a dignified daily subsistence, the population suffered from economic and financial difficulties and hunger”.
"We and our institutions invite the Lebanese and all people to respond to this noble invitation through:
“Firstly: the fast on Thursday 14 May, as an expression of our trans-community spiritual solidarity, knowing that it takes on special meaning since we are still in the blessed month of Ramadan.
"Second: prayer and supplication, each in his own way and according to his or her own rite, so that God will preserve humanity and help us overcome this pandemic, and help our fellow citizens and those who live on this earth to show solidarity and share their goods, so that no one loses his dignity or his life, for pure material need and that our world is more human and more fraternal. In Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, we have, in this Marian month of May, an unsurpassed model of supplication to God and trust in His providence.
"Third: the multiplication of our individual and institutional efforts to help the needy and assure them of what is necessary, starting to give everyone the value of what has been deprived of us, to the people close to him who are in greatest need and inviting everyone - according to their possibilities - to support humanitarian initiatives without discrimination, because our sense of human brotherhood prevents us from remaining indifferent when, among us, hungry people live or I'm in need. "
"This appeal will be followed, until May 14, by initiatives that will be announced in due course and by media campaigns to encourage participation in this activity and strengthen the sense of solidarity and brotherhood among all. We also ask all media to collaborate in dissemination of this information before the indicated date and to highlight its human and spiritual meanings by dedicating specific programs to it on May 14, 2020.
"We ask Almighty God to accept our fasting, our prayers and our good deeds."
“The institutions participating in this invitation are: the Council of Churches of the Middle East; the Forum of Religions and Cultures for Dialogue and Development; the Islamic Association Al-Makassed; the institutions of Imam Moussa Sadr; the Druze Al-Ourfan Foundation; the Islamic-Christian meeting around Notre-Dame Marie; the Adyan Foundation; Forum pour le développement, la culture et le dialogue; Darb Mariam; Filet de sécurité pour la paix civil association; the Institut d'études du Moyen-Orient ".