On September 16, 2020, a large, international interfaith prayer meeting was hosted by Shincheonji Church of Jesus, an international church based in South Korea. Titled “COVID-19 Overcome Online Prayer Meeting”, Shincheonji’s interfaith prayer meeting was for the speedy end of COVID-19 and its damaging impact on global society.
The Chairman of Shincheonji Church, Lee Man-hee, suggested the prayer event and asked members to pray for the virus to disappear from each country. The prayer event was unlike any other that came before it, because of its emphasis on bringing people of different faiths together in solidarity against the common enemy of COVID-19. It was held online amongst the 12 Tribes of Shincheonji in South Korea and abroad, including participants from North, Central, and South America. Leaders of various faiths such as the Sikh and the Cao Dai faiths, participated and urged the community to love and serve at this time.
The prayer meeting consisted of different prayer topics, including a prayer of individual repentance of any sins committed, forgiveness for neighbors, health for those suffering from the virus and an end to the pandemic.
Shincheonji Church has been active in fighting against COVID-19 after many of its members and those in their surrounding communities suffered from the pandemic. Over 4,000 of its members who previously contracted the COVID-19 virus but have successfully recovered have volunteered to donate their blood plasma for the sake of research and for treating current COVID-19 patients.
Plasma in the blood contains antibodies that can battle against the virus and experimental plasma-based treatments have been used to great success. Researchers are hopeful that plasma-based research will soon lead to a cure, but are restricted in their progress due to the low global plasma supply and the low number of people who qualify to donate.
With over 500 members donating plasma in July and another 1,100 donations provided by Shincheonji members in August, there has been a renewed sense of hope that quick advancements in research will soon follow.
“We hope that through this event, people of different religions can pray and break down the walls of denominations, organizations, and religions in order to overcome the disaster of the COVID-19 together” Shincheonji Church said in an official statement.