Pope Francis has endorsed the call to “the believers of all the religions to unite together spiritually on May 14 in a day of prayer and fasting, to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic.”
The idea of this universal day of prayer comes from the High Committee for Human Fraternity, which originated as a concrete response to the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together signed by Pope Francis, Ahmed el-Tayeb, and other Islamic leaders during his visit to the United Arab Emirate last year.
The goal of this ‘call to action’ is to have all religions, faiths and sects engage in their respective religious activities according to their own traditions- the Muslims will pray, the Hindus will fast, the Sikhs will do good deeds, and all vice-versa, in the belief that these activities will appeal to God in some way and he will respond by ending the pandemic.
The document also states that “each one from wherever they are and according to the teachings of their religion, faith, or sect, should implore God to lift this pandemic off us and the entire world…” which suggests if the teachings of religion’s faith say they ought to pray to their own deities, such as Muslims to Allah or Hindus to Vishnu, then that is an appropriate response and course of action, as the Christian God will in some way accept or receive those prayers.
Here is the full text:
Dear fellow believers in God, the All-Creator, our brothers and sisters in humanity everywhere,
Our world is facing a great danger that threatens the lives of millions of people around the world due to the growing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While we reaffirm the role of medicine and scientific research in fighting this pandemic, we should not forget to seek refuge in God, the All-Creator, as we face such severe crisis. Therefore, we call on all peoples around the world to do good deeds, observe fast, pray, and make devout supplications to God Almighty to end this pandemic. Each one from wherever they are and according to the teachings of their religion, faith, or sect, should implore God to lift this pandemic off us and the entire world, to rescue us all from this adversity, to inspire scientists to find a cure that can turn back this disease, and to save the whole world from the health, economic, and human repercussions of this serious pandemic
As part of its efforts to realize the objectives of the Document on Human Fraternity, the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity suggests announcing Thursday May 14th, 2020, a day for fasting, prayers, and supplications for the good of all humanity. As such, the Committee invites all religious leaders and peoples around the world to respond to this call for humanity and together beseech God Almighty to safeguard the entire world, to help us overcome this pandemic, to restore security, stability, healthiness, and prosperity, so that, after this pandemic is over, our world will become a better place for humanity and fraternity than ever before.
As other articles and authors have pointed out, the day of prayer contains no mention of sin or salvation. No mention of the need for forgiveness. No Mention of Jesus Christ, or his death on the cross. No mention of anything distinctly Christian, but rather sounds like what you’d get when the local high school invites the affirming United Episcopalian Pastrix to give a benediction over the graduation ceremonies; vague, pointless, useless, and blasphemous.