The World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue have released a joint document, “Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity: A Christian Call to Reflection and Action During COVID-19 and Beyond.” Its purpose is to encourage churches and Christian organizations to reflect on the importance of interreligious solidarity in a world wounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The publication is also designed to be useful to practitioners of other religions, who have already responded to COVID-19 with similar thoughts based on their own traditions.
The document recognises the current context of the pandemic as a time for discovering new forms of solidarity for rethinking the post-COVID-19 world. Comprised of five sections, the document reflects on the nature of a solidarity sustained by hope and offers a Christian basis for interreligious solidarity, a few key principles and a set of recommendations on how reflection on solidarity can be translated into concrete and credible action.
World Council of Churches interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca reflected that interreligious dialogue is vital to healing and caring for one another on a global level. “In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the human family is facing together an unprecedented call to protect one another, and to heal our communities,” he said. “Interreligious dialogue not only helps clarify the principles of our own faith and our identity as Christians, but also opens our understanding of the challenges—and creative solutions—others may have.”
Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, reflected that Christian service and solidarity in a wounded world have been part of agenda of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the World Council of Churches since last year. The COVID-19 pandemic pressed the project into action as “a timely ecumenical and interreligious response,” he said, adding that “the pandemic has exposed the woundedness and fragility of our world, revealing that our responses must be offered in an inclusive solidarity, open to followers of other religious traditions and people of good will, given the concern for the entire human family.”
The document is the latest to be co-produced by the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue following the publication of “Education for Peace in a Multi-Religious World: A Christian Perspective” in May 2019.