Rome (Agenzia Fides) - Authoritative accessions of political leaders - especially Middle Eastern ones - and representatives of international bodies are beginning to arrive with regards to the appeal promoted in recent days by the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity, which announced a day of prayer, fasting and supplication to ask God to protect humanity from the coronavirus pandemic.
The appeal, immediately re-launched by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al Tayyeb, was greeted with "joy" on behalf of all the Palestinian people by Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine. "I personally" Abbas writes in a message released by Rahmallah and also sent to Agenzia Fides "will participate in this prayer, and I invite all my people in the Holy Land to participate together".
King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, sovereign of Bahrain since 2002, has also announced his accession to the initiative of the Committee for Human Fraternity, indicating it as an opportunity to take advantage of uniting "people of different religions and races to supplicate, fast, do good and pray to Allah the Almighty to lift this pandemic off humanity".
The leaders who immediately expressed support for the Committee's appeal also include ex-Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, head of the Sunni party "Future": "I join Grand Imam of Al Azhar Dr Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb and His Holiness Pope Francis in their support for the prayer for Humanity this 14 May", reads a message released by Hariri through his twitter account. The UN Secretary General, the Portuguese Antonio Guterres, also expressed his accession via twitter to the appeal of the Committee for Human Fraternity. "In difficult times" reads the message issued by Guterres "we must stand together for peace, humanity & solidarity. I join His Holiness Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb in their support for the Prayer for Humanity this 14 May – a moment for reflection, hope, and faith".
On Sunday, May 3, with a message in thirteen languages, including Persian and Swahili, and addressed to the "brothers" who believe in God the Creator and to all the "brothers" in humanity, the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity, in this time marked by the coronavirus, invited to "a day of prayer, fasting and supplication for humanity". In its message, the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity paid tribute to the work of doctors and scientists, and above all asked every person, in every part of the world, according to their religion, faith or doctrine, to "turn to God praying, begging fasting and carrying out works of mercy", to ask Him to "end this epidemic, save us from this affliction, help scientists find a medicine that defeats it, and to free the world from health, economic and humanitarian consequences due to the spread of this serious contagion". The Committee therefore proposed to make May 14 "a day of prayer, fasting and supplication for humanity", calling both religious leaders and all people in the world "to respond to this humanitarian invitation and to speak to God with one voice, to preserve humanity, help it overcome the pandemic, restore security, stability, health and prosperity, and make our world more human and more fraternal".
The Higher Committee for Human Fraternity, chaired by Cardinal Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, was formed last August, a few months after the meeting in Abu Dhabi (February 4, 2019), during which Pope Francis and the great Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayyeb, signed the "Document on human fraternità for world peace and common coexistence". The Higher Committee, formed to promote the objectives and content of the Abu Dhabi Document, is currently made up of eight members, including M. Bruce Listig, Senior Rabbi of the Washington Hebrew Congregation. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 5/5/2020)