The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a wave of fear and uncertainty to every single one of us. We have had to concede and adjust to “the new norm” for an undefined time period. Often we are left not knowing whom to turn to for support and assistance.

While this global pandemic is unique in many ways, these feelings of fear and isolation are nothing new. Many of our religious and spiritual traditions have been poised to respond to times of crisis since time immemorial.

The magnitude of the pandemic has affected religious practices in several unimaginable ways from the cancellation of live religious services, closing religious schools, cancelling pilgrimages and prohibiting group interactions during festivals and celebrations.

Some religious organisations have been involved in the procurement and distribution process of providing disinfectants, ventilators, face shields, gloves and food to affected areas while others have offered COVID-19 tests to the general public.

Temples, churches, mosques, synagogues and all other public places of worship have reinvented themselves and thought up creative ways of providing services through online live streaming, radio and television. This has truly changed the way we pray and worship and has made us realise a completely new dimension to prayer.

What has personally moved me is how communities and religious organisations have mobilised and come together during these uncertain times. They have providing much needed assistance and support to the most vulnerable and needy.  They have looked beyond race, cultural and religious backgrounds.

All they see is a person in dire need of help. The pandemic has steered us back to our humanitarian values and what it actually means to be human …. it’s brought about the basic need to protect and provide.

We didn’t just join hands, we joined hearts too when it matters the most  … WOW!

To quote Tata Madiba: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

Article by Pauline