Multiple faiths will gather on social media to fast and pray for pandemic relief this Good Friday, April 10.
As lockdown and pandemic conditions persist across the United States, hundreds of thousands of people of faith are using social media to coordinate a worldwide fast for relief from the COVID-19 pandemic. One such Facebook group grew to 300,000+ members in four days, with individuals across faiths saying they will participate. That group includes Catholics, Latter-day Saints, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, evangelical Christians, Wiccans, atheists, and more, across six continents.
For the world's 1.3 billion Catholics, Good Friday is a traditional day of fasting. But in solidarity across faith, other religious groups plan to join in prayer and fasting in an effort to call for divine aid in a time of crisis.
Organizers launched Facebook groups and hashtags following an announcement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in a broadcast global conference. The president of that church, Russel M. Nelson, made this invitation:
“Let us prayerfully plead for relief from this global pandemic. I invite all, including those not of our faith, to fast and pray on Good Friday, April 10, that the present pandemic may be controlled, caregivers protected, the economy strengthened and life normalized.”
An inter-faith initiative
Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, explained that the "Celebration of the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday this year has a particular significance because of the terrible pandemic that has stricken the whole world." He issued a Good Friday Intention that prays “for all those who suffer the consequences of this pandemic” and asks God to “look with compassion on the sorrowful condition of your children who suffer because of this pandemic; relieve the pain of the sick; give strength to those who care for them; welcome into your peace those who have died; and, throughout this time of tribulation, grant that we may all find comfort in your merciful love."
A blessing from Cardinal Sarah 🙏❤️🕊🇻🇦— Stephen Thomas (@Coworkeroftruth) April 6, 2020
I think we could all use this. pic.twitter.com/QUSPDn0H3S
As #GoodFridayFast and #WorldwideFast gain steam across social media, posts and comments from diverse walks of life indicate a shared purpose of goodwill. In a similar announcement, the governor of Alaska called for a day of prayer and hope, also on Good Friday.
If you want your heart warmed by folks being tolerant and coming together, here are some comments from the “Worldwide Fast April 10” Facebook group (you can't embed posts from groups, so here are some screenshots with links):
What are your plans for this Easter weekend? In what other ways do you see people coming together at this time?
Chime in with a comment below!