Adyan’s Statement on the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Invitation to Humility, Solidarity, and Global Responsibility

After the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) a global pandemic, and following its wide spread in a large number of countries, including Lebanon, Adyan Foundation expresses the following:

  • First: This pandemic is a reminder that we, despite our diversity, belong to one human family; and this puts us before our shared responsibility in preserving our lives and the lives of others. Selfishness and arrogance are a way to perish, while awareness, collective responsibility, and commitment to the highest requirements of prevention are the way out of this crisis with minimal damage.
  • Second: Each crisis has its heroes, and the heroic role of both paramedics and health workers is becoming more and more evident. This is particularly true to those who volunteered to serve in the departments related to the patients infected with the virus; they hence embody the most glorious manifestation of dedication and human solidarity. This also includes those who maintain providing basic services despite the risks facing them. They have our prayers, appreciation, and gratitude.
  • Third: This pandemic has struck Lebanon at a time when the country is suffering a tragic financial, economic, and political crisis. Its burden will increase the suffering of citizens, in addition to residents and refugees, who are facing the consequences of corruption and political failure. This situation places the government and politicians before their urgent responsibilities to protect the lives of people away from political and sectarian divisions. In such a crisis, the absence of cooperation, boldness in taking decisions, and morality is a betrayal.
  • Fourth: Assuming our responsibility, at both the individual and collective levels, Adyan has taken the following measures and positions:
  1. The organization announces that its offices will be closed starting today and until further notice, provided that its team will continue to work from home, while applying all recommended health precautions.
  2. Adyan calls on all members of its networks (Youth, Volunteers, Ambassadors, Families), the Iraqi Network for Inclusive Citizenship, Alwan Clubs’ members and animators, members of the Forum for Religious Social Responsibility, partner institutions, trainers, experts, and friends to adhere, as much as possible, to the principle of voluntary quarantine to limit the spread of the virus. It also urges people to avoid publishing fake and inaccurate news that might be misleading, and to continue to bear witness to human solidarity by all available means while taking utmost measures of care and protection.
  3. Adyan wishes upon the members of the Forum for Religious Social Responsibility and all spiritual leaders to cooperate in order to raise awareness among believers. They are also asked to explain that we are in a time that requires them to protect people’s lives by abiding to scientific and medical guidelines, stopping gatherings even if for the purpose of worship and prayer, and to stay away from populist narratives. God expects from believers today to be – according to the noble Hadith – “the most beneficial to people”. Christ also condemns those who make people hostages to the “Sabbath” – meaning by that religious laws and rituals – and rather clarifies that God has made the “Sabbath” for humankind, whose life and dignity remain the focus of such divine messages. May our reliance on God be a motive for confronting this pandemic with awareness, courage, and spiritual solidarity, which raises our prayers to God Almighty, rising from hearts united by faith and distant bodies.
  4. Adyan urges the governments, concerned authorities, and the health sector (both public and private institutions) to bear the highest degree of responsibility in facing this pandemic, and lead the countering of its spread within duties assigned to them and without hesitation and bargaining at the expense of people’s safety. We also expect concerned authorities to apply the highest levels of transparency in dealing with this national and global crisis.

March 13th, 2020
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