Religion & the Pandemic: A Call Beyond the Here & Now

Religions for Peace Interreligious Council of Albania distributing Covid relief supplies from the Multi-religious Humanitarian Fund. Credit: Erzen CarjaBy Prof. Azza KaramNEW YORK, Aug 4 2020 (IPS) — I have never been interested in religion or spirituality before, but I found myself tuning in to all sorts of on-line religion and spirituality related forums “in search of something.” These are the words of a 30-something single young, middle class man (born into a Protestant-Catholic family background) in a European country. The latter is known more for turning several churches into museums or shopping centers, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. When people are afraid, lonely and alone – they tend to seek “something” beyond science. A quarter of Americans say their faith has become stronger because of the pandemic, according to a Pew survey conducted during April 20-26, 2020, of 10,139 U.S. adults. But this is to be contrasted with the experiences of those from an older generation (60+) in the southern hemisphere, like my own 85-year old Muslim father, who lives to pray. For him, the mosque has, over the last decade since my mother’s death, become both his spiritual hub and social club. His cohort is differing ages of retirees, who, in spite of very different political perspectives in a Middle Eastern country reflecting the now normal of intense polarization, treasure their prayerful community spaces. This middle class (an endangered s...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Civil Society Featured Global Headlines Health Human Rights Humanitarian Emergencies Inequity Religion TerraViva United Nations Source Type: news

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