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March 2023
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Israel’s Faith Leaders Pray during Pandemic

Israel-2020-05-14-Israel’s Faith Leaders Pray during Pandemic

Haifa, Israel—Leaders representing four main religions met to pray for the healing of the world from coronavirus.

Responding to calls by Pope Francis and Sheik Tantawi from Azahar University of Cairo for prayers, dedications and fasting in this time of the worldwide pandemic, the Israeli chapter of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD), an organization related to UPF, invited religious leaders to a special prayer at Haifa’s Louis Promenade.

The participants of the interfaith prayer on May 14, 2020, were: Rabbi Dr. Edgar Nof (Judaism); Father Masoud Abu-Hatoum (Christianity); Sheikh Samir Aassi (Islam); and Kaddi Iksan Halabi (Druze faith).

Although the total lockdown had been relaxed by the government, allowing a "face-to-face" prayer to take place, the participants followed protective guidelines strictly: wearing facial masks, maintaining a distance, and avoiding physical contact.

The event was opened with greetings by Mrs. Adi Sasaki, the vice president of UPF-Israel. Next, Mr. Hod Ben Zvi, the UPF-Israel chair, offered a prayer,  reflecting UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon's call for unity and peace among communities of different faiths—leading to the creation of Heavenly Parent's Holy Community which embraces all religions and faiths.

The respected religious leaders expressed their care for the sick people, the people who are suffering and going through a traumatic time. They described caring for human beings of all religions and faiths and offered prayers for healing and overcoming this crisis.

Prayers were offered in Hebrew, English, Arabic, French, and Spanish – expressing the wide scope of the prayer directing all the people of the world, regardless of their color, religion, or language.