For the past year, the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development USA has organized a weekly program on Zoom and Facebook to bring together religious leaders to counter spiritual consequences of COVID-19.
“People were becoming more isolated because of lockdown procedures that closed most places of social and public gatherings and houses of worship where support and comfort could be provided,” say the organizers of the program.
Calling the pandemic a “spiritual as well as medical crisis,” their weekly Interfaith Prayer for the Nation and the World encourages religious leaders of all faiths to work together to build lasting peace.
A recent participant in the program was Karla Bartholomew, President of the Church of Scientology of Pasadena, California, who oversees the humanitarian programs her church supports.
She was joined by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center, and the Imani Temple African American Catholic Congregation.
Bartholomew believes the religious community can have “fabulous impact on what’s going on in society.” She encouraged interfaith leaders to work together to “put calm, peace and spirituality back into the environment. That is my purpose and that is my dream.”
Emphasizing this commitment was her reading from the Scientology Prayer for Total Freedom:
“May the author of the universe enable all men to reach an understanding of their spiritual nature.
“May awareness and understanding of life expand, so that all may come to know the author of the universe.
“And may others also reach this understanding which brings Total Freedom.
“At this time, we think of those whose liberty is threatened; of those who have suffered imprisonment for their beliefs; of those who are enslaved or martyred, and for all those who are brutalized, trapped or attacked.
“We pray that human rights will be preserved so that all people may believe and worship freely, so that freedom will once again be seen in our land.
“Freedom from war, and poverty, and want; freedom to be; freedom to do and freedom to have.
“Freedom to use and understand Man’s potential—a potential that is God-given and Godlike.
“And freedom to achieve that understanding and awareness that is Total Freedom.
“May God let it be so.”
The Church of Scientology publishes this blog to help create a better understanding of the freedom of religion and belief and provide news on religious freedom and issues affecting this freedom around the world.