Christian and Muslim religious leaders reached out Friday across the divided island of Cyprus in a rare show of unity for prayers to overcome the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Archbishop Chrysostomos II, head of the Cyprus Orthodox Church, Turkish Cypriot Mufti Talip Atalay and the Armenian and Maronite religious leaders issued the joint call.
They urged “all other religious and faith community leaders in Cyprus and all sisters and brothers of faith to join them in prayer and action to fight this pandemic together”, in a statement issued by an interfaith group of the stalled UN-sponsored peace process.
They also called on the faithful to “pay very serious attention” to the strict social distancing measures enforced on both sides of the island’s UN-patrolled ceasefire line.
Both the Greek Cypriot-administered south and the Turkish Cypriot have closed schools and shut down clubs, bars, restaurants, prohibited indoor leisure activities and banned all competitive sports.