Firstly, I would like to thank Arigatou International for arranging this Interfaith Prayer for Children in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities stands with Arigatou International as part of a united community to protect vulnerable children worldwide.
With the lives of citizens throughout the world having been upended, this pandemic is proving to have a devastating impact on children. Without the outlets of school, the outdoors, visits with extended family and friends, and the comforts of routine, many children are dealing with intense loneliness, fear and anxiety.
Children’s access to education has been halted and contact with child protective services have been put on hold, threatening the safety, wellbeing and development of children. The adoption of e-learning places children at an increased risk of online sexual abuse and exploitation, and the need to address this challenge is bigger than ever.
In these precarious and socially isolating times, faith leaders must harness technology and take action to utilize their united voice as a voice of hope. And to address the spiritual needs and strengthen resilience amongst their child congregants.
Ever since the beginning of time, faith has provided a concrete moral basis to resolve conflict as well as being an instrument of peace, hope and comfort.