ASIA/CAMBODIA - Covid-19, Catholics nurture faith with "spiritual communion"

Thursday, 2 April 2020 coronavirus   healthcare   prayer   faith  

Phnom Penh (Agenzia Fides) - As Holy Week approaches, Catholics in Cambodia continue to stay at home, given the Covid-19 emergency and, given the suspension of religious services following the epidemic, nurture their faith with "spiritual communion".
The Cambodian government has also banned all public meetings, has imposed the closure of businesses and closed schools, imposing a "community quarantine". There are over a thousand infections in the country, with 17 deaths.
The leaders of Cambodia's Catholic communities have invited the faithful to stay home and participate in religious activities via online streaming. As Fides learns, many lay Catholics are promoting their faith through prayers, reading the Bible, parying the Rosary and other forms of devotion at home. "We are in an emergency situation. Since we are told to stay home, we cannot do anything other than carry out some domestic worship activities and maintain our faith and trust. We are in spiritual communion with our Priests and with other members of the community", says 23-year-old Catholic social worker Hun Sophea. "We continue to pray intensively for these extraordinary times to end soon", she added.
Another lay person, Kim Chea, tells Fides: "Like everyone else, we are blocked at home, but above all many poor people are affected. Furthermore, it is so bad that we cannot attend masses, especially during Holy Week. Depending on the situation, we are united with the universal church and pray hard that the world will overcome this pandemic with the grace of God".
According to Catholic lay woman Khieu Yi, "we pray the family rosary and recite morning and evening prayers. Now is the time to value our faith more than before".
With the lockdown, the woman said, "the poor are seriously affected, as thousands of people in Cambodia live by the day". (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 2/4/2020)