Churches vs. COVID-19

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Churches vs. COVID-19

By Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader

Never did we imagine that a day would come when we would see the doors of churches and mosques in our country, as well as in the entire world, closed--not in the faces of worshipers--but rather as precautionary and preemptive measures against COVD-19.

In the Vatican, a few days ago, His Holiness the Pope looked out from his balcony window, the traditional weekly way to bless the masses, at a time when the square was free from people, so he presented his blessings through social media.

We are facing new demands in this regard and we do not have to object. The Churches in Jordan have taken the initiative to support the governmental decisions, instructions and directives in terms of suspending public prayers in churches. Thus, the churches were closed while the priests and nuns conveyed their greetings, prayers and solidarity through social media outlets. The Council of the Heads of Churches in Jordan has issued a series of directives that concern for example the funerals which have to be confined to the relatives of the deceased; never to open condolence houses; as well as limiting engagement ceremonies to those willing to be engaged only.

As we are facing a new situation that we are not accustomed to, may it will not last long with a hope this cloud may pass by quickly, we have a feeling relevant to the importance of houses of worship and the importance of religious discourses which serve as a guide for people in our societies. We stress the need to comply with the government's decisions because human health, life and dignity are sacred, since human beings, are created by the divine power.

We support all official apparatuses as they act in harmony, and we pray in the same way as His Holiness the Pope and the faithful did so that the Lord would preserve the world from evil, heal the sick, and inspire the scientists and those working in laboratories to find a panacea that would alleviate human suffering and eliminate this virus-caused disease as it has been the case several times in the past.

We ultimately say that we pray in the churches so that this cloud would pass by, yet we ask our dear citizens to abide by the issued instructions and directives as this is a collective responsibility. It is true that there are officials who maintain the health of the citizens and the safety of the country, yet we all have a responsibility to curtail the spread of this epidemic. We want it to recede rather than spread, and this is the responsibility of every person who loves one's country and loves the fellow citizens, not only one's small family but the extended Jordanian family, or rather the entire human family.

By staying home, you provide the best service to your country. Furthermore, with prayer and supplication we will eliminate every disease with the Lord's help.

May you have the peace of God.

+abouna.org@gmail.com

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