Photo credit Abu Dhabi: Pope Francis, left, and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar, exchange a joint statement on “human fraternity” after an interfaith meeting at the Founder’s Memorial in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. Pope Francis has asserted in the first-ever papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula that religious leaders have a duty to reject all war and commit themselves to dialogue. AP/PTI Photo(AP2_5_2019_000011B) Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Leaders of various faiths and religions have called on everyone to observe and ardently participate in the Day of Global Prayer and Supplication against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic today.

The Higher Committee for Human Fraternity (HCHF), an organisation established to implement humanitarian principles of peace, coexistence, global citizenship and human fraternity, invited people of all races, colours, ethnicities, and nationalities to stand united in prayers.

UAE interfaith group prays in solidarity, celebrating #PrayForHumanity initiative Supplied

Judge Mohamed Abdel Salam, HCHF secretary-general, has recently announced the launch of the official website of the ‘Pray for Humanity’ initiative ( that will provide live coverage and will serve as a digital archive of the HCHF.

Raju Shroff, a board member of the Hindu Temple Bur Dubai, told Gulf News the multi-faith prayer, held under the aegis of the Ministry of Tolerance, will take place at around 5.45pm (UAE time) on May 14.

The event will be presided over by a moderator from the Abu Dhabi Court, Suleiman Al Jassim, and will also have a short speech by the UAE Minister of Tolerance Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan

Some of the participants in the global prayer include Dr Farok Hamda, religious advisor from the court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi; Bishop Paul Hinder OFM Cap, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia; Marcus Oates, president of the Abu Dhabi Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, executive director and university chaplain at The Bronfman Centre for Jewish Student Life at New York University; Surender Singh Kandhari, Chairman, Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara – Dubai; and Shroff.

Pray and carry on

Speaking to Gulf News, Revd Canon Andy Thompson, MBE, Senior Chaplain at St Andrew’s Church in Abu Dhabi, explained: “Prayer is an activity that compels us to seek hope by trying to connect with something or someone bigger than us. In our hour of need, prayer calms us, centres us and enables us to carry on.”

Kandhari added: We are all children of one God and we have to be united in the fight against the pandemic. We have to forget our religion and nationality and be positive that we will be a winner.”

Fr. Reinhold Sahner, parish priest of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Jebel Ali, added: “People are encouraged to pray at home. St Francis Church and other places of worship will join tomorrow afternoon via a Zoom meeting and various leaders of different religions will say a prayer in their mother tongue.”

Ease after difficulty

Various representatives of faiths in the UAE have also released a promotional video to promote the day of prayers.

In the video, Dr Yousef Al Hassan, writer and former UAE diplomat, prayed in Arabic: “We pray to All-Mighty Allah that He may dispel this distress and sorrow. He is the One who says in His Holy Book, call upon me I will answer you. We put our trust in Allah. He is verily ever aware of His servants. Allah brings about ease after difficulty.”

Ross Kiel, president of Jewish Community of the Emirates also prayed: “May God bless and protect, guard and help the leaders and government of the UAE and governments around the world; the doctors and scientists and health care workers to find a cure for COVID-19.”

How to get involved

  • What: Global prayer and supplication against COVID-19
  • When: May 14, Thursday, 5.45pm (UAE time)
  • How to join: log on to