How to practice religion when religious places are closed due to crisis? Karen Armstrong has an answer

“Places of religious worship in most nations are closed when so many people practicing religion wish to reach out to God. However, we don’t have to visit a religious place to meet the sacred or the divine.”

British religious scholar and the author of “The Lost Art of Scripture,” Karen Armstrong recently interacted with Christiane Amanpour. Armstrong joined Amanpour to discuss faith, spirituality, and community during these difficult times. Here’re some excerpts from the discussion.

The coronavirus has already led to more than 10,000 deaths and a quarter-million infections. From widespread lockdowns to converting sports stadiums into makeshift hospitals, governments around the world have adopted a wartime footing for fighting the deadly virus.  Doctors, nurses, and medical workers are risking their lives to treat and save patients around the globe.

From the Roman Catholic Church to Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam, officials from all over the world are closing down religious places. Those who reach out to the Almighty in times of crisis wish to pray. How are devotees meant to deal with the same?

“We don’t have to visit a religious place to meet the sacred or the divine. People living in the US and the UK live in a much-protected world. Very often, when there are disturbing videos shown during the news, the newscaster says some people may find the next video or images disturbing. Some viewers use this time to make a cup of tea or change the channel to avoid looking at the disturbing content. Religion means people need to open their hearts and mind to the pain in the world. Religion also urges us to look at the darkness and make us think about suffering that we see around us. It should widen our sympathies with it. Everyone is scared right now; we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Now it the time for us to think of individuals living in Syria, Yemen, and other nations that have been facing a different kind of terror for a long time. It is time to see, let that suffering in,” said Armstrong.

You can watch the complete episode here.

Author: Nitten Gokhaley  (nittengokhaley24@gmail.com)


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