Interreligious meeting in Jerusalem shows unity in times of trial

Members of numerous religions take part in an historic interreligious prayer meeting in Jerusalem.

Different religions were represented at the exceptional community prayer that took place on Wednesday afternoon in Jerusalem. There were representatives of Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze denominations. In their own liturgical languages – including Hebrew, Arabic and English – they prayed:

“Hundreds of thousands died, millions have fallen sick. Save, we beseech thee, O Lord. We entreat thee, O Lord, send prosperity! Send complete recovery to the sick, avert the plague from Your world.”

The three-minute-long event was streamed on the internet to allow the faithful to participate despite the restrictions imposed by the quarantine.

It was with the words of Psalm 121 that the pilgrims from Jerusalem placed themselves under God’s protection and asked for His blessing. In Israel, this psalm is also prayed on the day of commemoration of the Israeli soldiers who fell victim to terrorism, which will be celebrated next Tuesday, April 28.

“The coronavirus doesn’t know borders” said Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of Jerusalem. There are no borders between religions, races or political parties, he explained. The prelate described all these religions saying the same prayer in Jerusalem as a “rare event,” and expressed the hope that this bond could continue even after the Coronavirus crisis has passed.

British Rabbi David Rosen, who is deeply engaged in interreligious dialogue, described this prayer meeting as “historic.” “The religious leaders of this land and this country have come together for the first time ever to recite a joint prayer for divine mercy and compassion of the Lord at this historic moment when we are challenged by a pandemic,” he said, introducing the meeting.

Read the article by Francesca Merlo in Catholic Outlook.