Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun has called his citizens to join in prayer to protect humanity from the danger of coronavirus.
This comes after the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, supported by Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, called for people of all faiths to dedicate May 14 to a day for prayer, fasting, supplication and charity work, “according to his religion or belief, so that God protects humanity from the danger of the Corona Pandemic.”
According to Lebanon’s Presidency Press Office, “this initiative falls in the core of the goals of the initiative launched by President Aoun and approved by the United Nations General Assembly to establish the ‘Academy of Humanity for meeting and Dialogue’ in Lebanon to contribute to building a human civilization based on acceptance of the others whatever their affiliation and belief are, and on the mutual enrichment by being different, and on the right of diversity as a guarantee.”
As such, Aoun called on the Lebanese on Thursday, while limits on public mobilization have been extended, to participate in the prayer, “because it is the shield of believers and non-believer in their longing for the absolute.”
Aoun stressed that the Lebanese — who have different religious affiliations — “would have their homeland become a message, as described by the great pope, John Paul II, who in a few days (May 18) will be celebrating his first centenary anniversary of his birth, and coincides with the centenary anniversary of the creation of Greater Lebanon.”
“During these difficult and unprecedented circumstances that our country is passing through, let the voices of minarets embrace with the ringing of church bells for the sake of Lebanon and the world, and all the voices who tamper with our national unity, which is the shield of our past, our present and our future, will be silenced, after the wounds of the division and the separation projects almost eliminated our country,” Aoun said, adding, “Let this day be a new start for all of us, to reject the causes of hatred and inconsistency, and the escape from the logic, rationality and the wisdom, so each one puts his differences aside to restore our internal immunity, which enriches our national unity and establishes our peace that protects our homeland, which we sacrificed the most valuable blood of our young people to protect it.”