Diary from Washington DC
WASHINGTON DC: American people are usually law abiding citizens. While religiously following the guidelines and orders from their governments, overtly they are not religious though they respect their religions and others as well.
COVID-19 has shaken humanity to the core, with no one regardless of their background or beliefs has been spared. Since its outbreak, people have observed religion to have become more front and center of this isolated existence that has been thrust upon people. Churches, Masajid, Synagogues and Temples are closed for gatherings. They have organized virtual services and prayers for their followers on Internet. You see a lot more advertisements for online services, apps, books etc. professing to help you learn about the love of God, Jesus and lessons from Bible.
Then there are those, who organize their services in a church parking lot or prayers in front of their Masajid, breaking common guidelines for physical and social separation to fight the Novel Coronavirus, inviting scorn from passersby for putting others at risk.
During all leaders of several Christian churches were persuading Americans to repent for their sins this Easter Sunday, the most widely observed ecclesiastical holiday in the US.
Taking a cue from them, in a viral video, a John Doe (unknown person) is seen running through the mostly deserted streets of New York City, screaming and berating the general populace to repent for their sins, repent their adulterous behaviours, repent their vanity, pride and their love of materialism. No one knows who this man is, his name, background, marital status. He seems to be in his late thirties and sane. . . We don’t even know whether he is a practicing Christian or not. But we can clearly see that he is very concerned. He strongly agrees with the church leaders that Americans can overcome this dreaded plague by giving up their evil behaviours, returning to religion and repenting for their sins.
Maybe John Doe, like many others is losing faith in his government to be able to handle crisis situations. They are feeling that the current leadership does not have the foresight or abilities of the leaders who calmly and carefully guided the country through civil war, two world wars, several diseases and other calamities as well as the 911 attacks, while keeping the general population safe and secure.
He was critical of the media for spreading racial hatred in society like never before, and disobeying Jesus call to humanity to love thy neighbor.
No doubt, the whole world is going through the worst times of our era. In times like these humans look within their faiths for answers and for guidance for their deliverance from this pain and suffering. Millions of Americans observed the holy week of Easter at their homes, Pope Francis held Easter Mass at an empty Cathedral, for the first time in modern history. He held these prayers to make sure that he doesn’t fail in his duties of praying and asking for forgiveness with the hope that next year his Basilica, along with all other cathedrals and churches will be open for Christians to be able participate in their prayers, ceremonies and traditions.
Jews all over the world spend Passover isolated from others. Instead of singing the traditional song “Next year in Jerusalem” at Passover Seder, they sang a modified song “Next year with family and friends” showing hope that all this will be behind next year when they will be able to celebrate Passover with their family and friends, as traditional.
Muslims will start observing Ramazan later this month without having the ability to do Tarawih in groups at local masjids world over, and celebrating Eid at home without the traditional visits to family and friends. All this with prayers and hope that these disruptions in our yearly duties and celebrations will go a long way in helping overcome this modern plague and to a time when they will again be able recite Allah-o-Akbar, Wallah-o-Akbar, Wallillahal Hamd on their way to their respective Masajid