Protecting the religion: How religions are dealing with coronavirus

Keeping the faith: How religions are coping with coronavirus

The concern, despair and isolation ensuing from coronavirus has resulted in one thing akin to a worldwide non secular disaster, because the world’s largest religions search to supply solace to the trustworthy in the course of the pandemic.


A Buddhist monk watches as wolunteers use disinfectant to scrub Wat Traimit temple in Bangkok on March 18, 2020

©  AFP / Mladen Antonov

The sickness started to unfold as many Buddhists had been getting ready to watch the Lunar New 12 months, forcing temples throughout Asia to decide on between persevering with common providers or shutting their doorways. A Buddhist corridor in Hong Kong apologized this week for not closing its temple sooner, after it was found that 19 individuals linked to the establishment had been contaminated.

In Taiwan, Buddhist sermons are being live-streamed to worshippers who’re making an attempt to keep away from mass gatherings.

The Tsuglagkhang Complicated, which homes the holiest websites in Tibetan Buddhism, was closed on Wednesday in response to the unfold of Covid-19. The spiritual web site can be shuttered till no less than April 15. The workplace for the Dalai Lama additionally harassed {that a} viral social media submit, which shares purported directions from the chief of Tibetan Buddhism on tips on how to deal with coronavirus, was the truth is a hoax with no factual foundation.


A employee disinfects the Surp Stephanos Armenian Church in Istanbul to forestall the unfold of the COVID-19, the novel coronavirus on March 15, 2020.

©  AFP / Ozan Kose

Christian sects all over the world are reeling from the virus. Catholicism has been significantly hard-hit, largely because of the unfold of coronavirus by way of Italy. Vatican Metropolis has grow to be a close to ghost city, with Pope Francis live-streaming addresses on screens in St. Peter’s Sq. in hopes that crowds can be smaller with out his bodily presence.
Rome has suspended all Catholic plenty within the metropolis – reportedly the primary time since 1155, throughout a revolt in opposition to the papacy.

Different Christian sects have taken comparable measures. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (also referred to as the Mormon Church) introduced final week that it was suspending gatherings worldwide “till additional discover” because of the virus.


An idol of the Hindu goddess Durga embellished with a face masks

©  REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

In Singapore, Hindus have been pressured to cancel a part of their annual Panguni Uthiram competition, which features a foot and chariot procession. The spiritual occasion often attracts round 10-15 thousand pilgrims annually.

Non secular websites throughout the Hindu world have additionally been closed to the general public. In India, probably the most visited shrines in Mumbai, the Siddhivinayak Temple, was lately closed till additional discover.

Regardless of the danger, worshipers continued to flock to temples, forcing Indian authorities to take motion. The Tuljabhavani Temple in Maharashtra was closed after 13,000 devotees visited the shrine on Sunday.


A person sporting a well being face masks reads from the Holy Koran whereas seated in a mosque being sterilised by Palestinian well being staff within the West Financial institution metropolis of Ramallah on March 7, 2020

©  AFP / Abbas Momani

The virus has imperiled the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that every one Muslims are anticipated to take. The Saudi authorities has already known as off one other pilgrimage, the Umrah, and all mosques within the nation have been shuttered, with holy websites in Mecca and Medina as exceptions. Canceling the Hajj – which falls throughout July and August this yr – would even have large financial repercussions for tens of 1000’s of worshippers who’ve already paid non-refundable deposits for his or her journey to Mecca.

The state of affairs can also be grim for Muslims touring to holy websites in Iran. The Islamic Republic has been in nationwide lockdown in an try to stomp-out coronavirus.

The standard Islamic name to prayer has additionally been modified to deal with the virus. In Kuwait, a mosque’s loudspeaker urged locals to “pray in your houses” as a substitute of the standard “come to prayer.”


An Israeli man votes at a polling sales space specifically erected for the 5,600 voters beneath quarantine, lots of whom visited international locations the place the coronavirus COVID-19 is prevalent, throughout parliamentary elections within the northern Israeli metropolis of Haifa on March 2, 2020.

©  AFP / Ahmad Gharabli

For a lot of working towards Jews, Covid-19 upended Purim providers and festivities, which had been canceled or scaled down.

Israel’s chief rabbis issued spiritual edicts final week instructing Jews to obey well being officers’ directions geared toward stopping the unfold of the pandemic. The rabbis mentioned that Jews ought to keep away from visiting the Western Wall and holding mass prayers there. The spiritual leaders mentioned that “each man and lady ought to pray close to their houses, till the disaster passes and mercy comes from Heaven.”

The virus prompted one Jewish commentator to name for the creation of “Digital Shabbat” and a extra common “Digital Jewish Expertise” to help Jews in quarantine or working towards social distancing.

Like this story? Share it with a good friend!