Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta
Updated: March 19, 2021 07:53 AM GMT
Six orphaned children representing Indonesia’s six recognized religions take part in a virtual interfaith prayer session held by the Religious Affairs Ministry to seek God’s help to end the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo: Religious Affairs Ministry’s YouTube channel)
Orphaned children representing Indonesia’s six recognized religions took part in a virtual prayer session organized by the Religious Affairs Ministry to call for an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Also in attendance were Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas and Buddhist, Catholic, Confucian, Hindu, Muslim and Protestant leaders from across the country.
The March 18 event was livestreamed on the ministry’s YouTube channel.
“Dear Almighty God, bless this country where we live and bless our leaders and those who work hard to protect us,” Yashinta Dorotewada, a Catholic orphan girl, said in her prayer.
“Guide them and strengthen them so that they can stick to their tasks and uphold unity in diversity.”
Unity in diversity is the national motto and signifies Indonesian unity among a population coming from many diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
I Nyoman Maswinara, a Hindu boy, prayed that God will “grant our families and friends the strength to carry on, cure all Covid-19 patients and deliver us from the pandemic.”
In his speech, the religious affairs minister stressed the importance of holding such an interfaith prayer session amid the pandemic.
“As religious followers, we should not just focus on physical efforts. It is true that we must address the pandemic with a scientific approach. But we must also knock on heaven’s door to seek God’s help,” Qoumas said.
The virtual interfaith prayer session was held in response to President Joko Widodo’s call in May last year to all religious followers to continue praying for an end to the pandemic and not to lose hope.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest global health disaster of this era. It will take time to return to normal,” Vice President Ma’ruf Amin said, adding he hoped the interfaith prayer event would foster greater unity in Indonesian society that will make the healing process less painful.
As of March 18, Indonesia had recorded 1,443,853 Covid-19 cases and 39,142 deaths.
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