In these times of uncertainty, Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders recently gathered to pray together in Jerusalem.
This comes after leaders of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Latin, Greek Orthodox and Armenian) stated on March 21 in a media release that they would like to see “all the children of Abraham pray together to the Almighty to ask for protection and mercy” amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“We will be together to pray to the Almighty God that this pandemic may stop,” Father Francesco Patton, the Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land, told Vatican Radio prior to the common prayer. He added that each of the three Abrahamic religions was to recite a prayer according to its own tradition.
Of the significance of this moment, Father Patton highlighted the fact that Jews, Christians, and Muslims trace their origins to Abraham, the first man called to a specific covenant by God:
“It is important in itself because we are all believers with the same roots; and thanks to this same root we can express with faith and with confidence our prayer to God the Almighty.”
Father Patton also talked about what kind of Easter in Jerusalem will this be, looking ahead to the important festival and holiday and saying that “it will be with few celebrations, without pilgrims, and with small local communities.”
Nevertheless, he said that “it will be Easter all the same”:
“At Easter, we don’t celebrate the number of faithful, we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and it is in the Resurrection that we can find hope, not in the number of those celebrating!”
Other faiths, including Druze and Bahai was also in attendance at Jerusalem City Hall where the common prayer took place.