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Faith and COVID-19: Resource Repository

This is intended as a living document with up-to-date information. Information posted in the repository is not an endorsement by the organizers and does not necessarily reflect their ideas and opinions. The document aims to reflect diverse perspectives. The links highlighted in yellow indicate that they are the newest sources added to the repository that day. By clicking on the relevant category in the table of contents, you will be taken directly to the page. If you have website links (no pdfs or word documents, please) that are relevant to the categories laid out in the table of contents below, please email them to covid19.faithresponse@gmail.com for consideration for inclusion.

Table of Contents - click on a heading to jump to that section of the document

Introduction

General resources (not faith specific)

Global

Other platforms gathering religion related information

Guidance Documents

News reports on changes to gatherings of religious communities

Existing teachings/practices that can guide response

Faith and WASH

Faith and Ebola

Faith and Epidemics/Pandemics (including historical responses)

Faith and Science

Faith and Gender

Human Rights and Freedom of Religion or Belief Debates

Adaptations of practices for this response

Guides on adapting practices for the response

Theological guidance on changes, guidance to communities

Pertinent social media approaches

Upcoming/ongoing virtual series and events

News reports on changes to specific practices, analyses of problem areas

Use of religious infrastructure for response

Copies of messages circulated from religious institutions to their communities

Country level

General resources on how the coronavirus is impacting religious life

Gatherings of religious communities

Copies of notices/statements about changed/adapted gatherings of religious communities

News reports on changes to gatherings of religious communities (specific countries listed in alphabetical order)

Specific practices (innovations of special interest)

News reports on changes to specific practices, analyses of problem areas

Misinformation and dissent among religious groups

Messaging and Advocacy

Specific religiously framed advocacy messages to national, state, city leaders

Copies of messages circulated from religious institutions to their communities

Advocacy efforts from religious institutions and leaders to the wider community

News reports on messages and advocacy

Local area/community responses

Gatherings of religious communities

Educational Institutions with religious links

Support to vulnerable communities

Youth and children

Refugee Communities

Religious communication

Specific practices

News reports on changes to specific practices, analyses of problem areas

Long term reflections

Emerging issues of importance (not faith-related)

Interfaith and ecumenical statements

Faith-inspired organisations’ responses

Daily Highlight


Introduction

This online platform will be linked to daily updating/information emails. We aim to collect and communicate information related to religious actors responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizing information so that it can be quickly found and used by development policymakers and practitioners and religious actors who seek to work together in the COVID-19 response. The initiative follows from a March 11, 2020 meeting at the Berkley Center at Georgetown University: "Consultation on COVID-19: Exploring Faith Dimensions" (find event summary here).

The focus will be: (a) to link actors and observers focused on religious response and a broader policy community; and (b) to center attention on the most vulnerable communities (refugee communities for example). The daily email note (sign up here), will come from the Berkley Center account and highlight new developments linked to religious responses and questions.

The organizers of the March 11 meeting, Katherine Marshall (Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University), Olivia Wilkinson (Joint Learning Initiative), and Dave Robinson (independent consultant) will initially take on this mission; we welcome support from others. Please note that we will post selectively, taking care not to duplicate other efforts, to curate information from trusted sources, and to avoid overloading information channels.

The platform will organize information in several categories, starting with recommendations on reliable sources of information about the pandemic itself. It focuses on (i) responses to directives to limit physical gatherings and their implications for religious communities; (ii) specific practices and adaptations of practices, messaging and advocacy, and countering negative religious voices; (iii) specific outreach to vulnerable people and communities; (iv) major advocacy efforts linked to religious actors; and (v) reflections on long term impacts and lessons.

The team plans to curate the online platform. Anyone can send information to us (at  covid19.faithresponse@gmail.com) and we will post relevant material. We will send one update per day highlighting a topical issue related to religions and COVID-19.

General resources (not faith specific)

This platform is not a source of general public health information on COVID-19. It does not provide up-to-date information on the latest statistics related to COVID-19. Instead, we invite you to consult these links that represent trusted sources of general information on COVID-19.


Global 

Other platforms gathering religion related information

Guidance Documents

  • The Muslim Council of Britain,  Corona virus (Covid19) Guidance for Mosques/Madrasas and Umrah Pilgrims, 12 March 2020,

https://mcb.org.uk/mcb-updates/coronavirus-guidance-for-mosques-and-madrassas/ 

https://thepeaceplan.com/approachtocoronavirus/

https://pda.pcusa.org/pda/resource/disease-guidance-for-congregations/

http://ihpemory.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Digital-Pastoral-Care-for-Grief_-Individual-Collective.pdf

News reports on changes to gatherings of religious communities

Existing teachings/practices that can guide response

Faith and WASH

Faith and Ebola

Faith and Epidemics/Pandemics (including historical responses)

Faith and Science

Faith and Gender

Human Rights and Freedom of Religion or Belief Debates

Adaptations of practices for this response

Guides on adapting practices for the response

https://www.ashleymwilcox.com/blog/2020/3/10/5-tips-for-online-pastoral-care

Theological guidance on changes, guidance to communities

http://amecea.blogspot.com/2020/03/kenya-covid-19-guidelines-from.html

Pertinent social media approaches

Upcoming/ongoing virtual series and events

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/coronavirus-meditations/

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/online-sanghas/

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/coronavirus-dharma-talks/

News reports on changes to specific practices, analyses of problem areas

Use of religious infrastructure for response

Copies of messages circulated from religious institutions to their communities

Country level

General resources on how the coronavirus is impacting religious life

  • News 24/Jan Gerber, Coronavirus Parliament hearing on land, harmful religious practices postponed, 16 March 2020,

https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/coronavirus-parliament-hearings-on-land-harmful-religious-practices-postponed-20200316

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAPpSziJlB8&feature=emb_logo

Gatherings of religious communities

Copies of notices/statements about changed/adapted gatherings of religious communities

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/03/19/818392907/eastern-orthodox-church-to-halt-services-until-end-of-march

https://www.sikhcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/English-Recommendations-for-Gurdwaras-COVID-19-prevention-1.2.pdf

  • Australian Baha’i Community, Advice on Coronavirus

https://religionsforpeaceaustralia.org.au/?p=10001

  • Catholic Church –Bishops Conference of England and Wales, Coronavirus guidelines,

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/health-social-care/coronavirus-guidelines/

News reports on changes to gatherings of religious communities (specific countries listed in alphabetical order)

Bangladesh

  • BBC, Coronavirus: Bangladesh mass prayer event prompts alarm, 19 March 2020

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-51956510

Egypt

France

Ghana

Hong Kong

India

Israel

Kenya

Malaysia

MENA

Montenegro

Nigeria

Pakistan

Senegal

Singapore

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/covid-19-outbreak-coronavirus-catholic-church-religion-singapore-12435882

South East Asia

  • Asia News, Church issues directives to avoid coronavirus contagion, 01 March 2020,

http://asianews.it/news-en/Church-issues-directives-to-avoid-coronavirus-contagion--49169.html

  • CNA, Muslim Event in Indonesea stopped amid Covid19 fears, 19 March 2020

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/coronavirus-covid19-indonesia-muslim-event-stopped-12555698

South Korea

United Kingdom

  • The Guardian/ Harriet Sherman, Church of England Suspends al Services over Coronavirus, 17 March 2020,

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/17/church-of-england-suspends-services-coronavirus

  • Christian Today, Coronavirus social distancing guidance applies to religious gatherings, says Matt Hancock, 17 March 2020,

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/coronavirus-social-distance-guidance-applies-to-religious-gatherings-says-matt-hancock/134464.htm

United States

  • The New York Times/Elizabeth Dias, A Sunday Without Church: In Crisis, A Nation Asks, ‘What is Community?’ 10 March 2020,

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/15/us/churches-coronavirus-services.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/nyregion/coronavirus-hasidic-weddings-brooklyn.html

Venezuela

Zimbabwe

  • The Zimbabwe Mail, Church group urges alcohol-based hand sanitisers amid coronavirus threat, 18 March 2020

https://www.thezimbabwemail.com/religion/church-group-urges-alcohol-based-hand-sanitisers-amid-coronavirus-threat/


Specific practices (innovations of special interest)

News reports on changes to specific practices, analyses of problem areas

Africa

Brazil

Cameroon

China

Cuba

France

Georgia

Ghana

India

Iran

  • Melissa Etehad, Coronavirus deaths in Iran lead to mass burial pits, changing the way families mourn, 18 March 2020,

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-03-18/coronavirus-deaths-in-iran-lead-to-mass-burial-pits-for-victims-families-it-is-changing-the-way-they-mourn

  • Qantara, Faith and Coronavirus, 13 March 2020,

https://en.qantara.de/content/covid-19-epidemic-in-iran-faith-and-the-coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR3d3GiBgM-l495Doauza5UnVAq-GNQuHan4uHQmjIrZy0rP-X9chKh3Ab0

  • Radio Farda, Coronavirus Epidemic Hits Iran’s Small Zoroastrian Community Very Hard, 18 March 2020,

https://en.radiofarda.com/a/coronavirus-hits-iran-s-small-zoroastrian-community-in-yazd-very-hard/30494946.html

Israel

Italy

  • The Guardian/ Lorenzo Tondo, Italy’s Priests told to take steps at mass to counter coronavirus, 27 February 2020,

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/27/italy-priests-told-take-steps-mass-counter-coronavirus

Kenya

Lebanon

MENA

Nigeria

The Philippines

Saudi Arabia

Uganda

United States

United Kingdom

  • The Guardian, UK Funeral Directors may stream burials of coronavirus victims, 17 March 2020

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/17/uk-funeral-directors-consider-streaming-burials-of-coronavirus-victims

Misinformation and dissent among religious groups

Brazil

France

India

Iran

Israel

Nigeria

Taiwan

Tunisia

Turkey

United Kingdom

United States

Relevant to multiple countries

Messaging and Advocacy

Specific religiously framed advocacy messages to national, state, city leaders

Ghana

United States

Copies of messages circulated from religious institutions to their communities

France

Sri Lanka

United Kingdom

Advocacy efforts from religious institutions and leaders to the wider community

(including elected officials and administrators coordinating response)

China

News reports on messages and advocacy

Burkina Faso

China

Iran

The Middle East and North Africa

The Philippines

Tanzania

United Kingdom

United States

Local area/community responses      

Gatherings of religious communities

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-03-24/during-virus-priests-master-livestream-at-gothic-cathedral

Educational Institutions with religious links

Support to vulnerable communities

Youth and children

Refugee Communities

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/04/bangladesh-covid-19-response-flaws-put-older-rohingya-refugees-in-imminent-danger/

Religious communication

https://catholicmoraltheology.com/pandemic-and-the-common-good/

  • ECUSA: Faith and Facts in Climate of Fear,

https://www.dioceseny.org/covid-19-faith-and-facts-in-a-climate-of-fear/

https://vic.thecsg.org.au/covid-19-community-information/rabbinical-guidance-on-covid-19/

Specific practices

News reports on changes to specific practices, analyses of problem areas

https://6abc.com/6015749/

Long term reflections            

https://www.baylor.edu/mediacommunications/news.php?action=story&story=218155

Emerging issues of importance (not faith-related)

*We are monitoring several key topics highlighted below that do not currently have faith-related information, but we will move these topics into the main body of the repository once we have more faith-related resources.

General

Domestic Violence

Mental Health

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Covid19 Information and Resources Toolkit, 18 March 2020,

https://connects.ctschicago.edu/forums/topic/covid-19-information-and-resources-a-toolkit-provided-by-nami/

  • WHO, Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak, 12 March 2020,

 https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf

  • PBS, Why Your Mental Health May Be Suffering in The Covid19 Pandemic, 10 March 2020,

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/why-your-mental-health-may-be-suffering-in-the-covid-19-pandemic

Refugees and Migrant Workers

Interfaith and ecumenical statements 

https://www.peacemakersnetwork.org/six-ways-for-religious-and-traditional-actors-to-take-action-to-prevent-spread-of-covid-19-in-their-cfbclidommunities/?=IwAR3gDdBBiGdqlUy0EQ2PEtbrUDalAbC_IgmbQWN6DR8X7CjKfKSQW1nYK5g

Faith-inspired organisations’ responses

This section refers to responses by international faith-inspired development/humanitarian organisations as distinct from local church-based organisations

https://livingwater.box.com/v/Church-COVID-19-Response


Daily Highlight

Click on each date to view the message from that day:

March 18 - “Interfaith groups refocusing efforts”

March 19 - “Galvanizing religious responses to COVID-19 crisis: Gatherings”

March 20 - “Engaging national faith communities: South Africa as an example”

March 21 - “Religious gatherings as a focus: Malaysia case”

March 22 - “Religious upheavals as part of COVID-19 ravages? Iran as an early instance”

March 23 - “Inspirational messages from spiritual leaders in troubled times”

March 24 - “Religious gatherings become a central point of uncertainty and tension - to gather or not to gather?”

March 25 - “Religion and development academic speaks out on religion, science, and COVID-19”

March 26 - “Buddhist admonitions to solidarity”

March 27 - “Adapting practices to meet health imperatives: Some rabbis, in planning for Passover, allow for a virtual option because of the coronavirus threat”

March 28 - “Vulnerable children need special attention”

March 29 - “Religious leaders and funeral homes scramble to find caring and dignified ways to implement COVID-19 precautions”

March 30 - “COVID-19 Upends Jerusalem’s Holy Sites”

March 31 - “Misinformation or an "Infodemic": A Word of Caution”

April 1 - “Mobilizing to Support Faith Communities in Practical Ways”

April 2 - “The COVID-19 Crisis and Refugees: Urgent and Complex Demands”

April 3 - “Religious leaders defying stay at home advice - the exception, not the rule?”

April 4 - “Disrupted Global Religious Programs”

April 5 - “COVID-19’s Distinctive Impact on Women: Responses from Religious Communities”

April 6 - “COVID-19: Impact on Extremism?”

April 7 - “Palm Sunday in the Era of COVID-19”

April 8 - “Adjusting Beloved Celebrations for Physical Distancing: Passover 2020”