National Day of Fasting and Prayers to be observed with interfaith meeting today
– AFC welcomes initiative
The Guyana Government will host a grand interfaith meeting today to mark the observance of ‘National Day of Fasting and Prayers’ – an initiative that was announced by President Dr Irfaan Ali to celebrate the country’s religious diversity.
This meeting would be held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) at Liliendaal, commencing at 15:30h (3:30pm). It would see presentations, prayers, songs and reflections from the three major religious groups, and would also feature an address by President Ali.
Members of all religious groups are invited, and specific areas would be allocated for each religious group to pray about.
On Monday, President Ali called on religious bodies to unite under the banner of ‘One Guyana’ for a National Day of Fasting and Prayers, as three significant religious observances are overlapping this month: Christians are observing Lent, Hindus are observing Chaitra Navratri, and Muslims are observing Ramadan. This rare occurrence offers a meaningful opportunity for Guyanese from all religious persuasions to come together to pray for Guyana.
President Ali has also said that he sees the day as an opportunity for religious bodies and persons from all belief systems to join to promote the spirit of togetherness.
“I would like all of us to fast together, pray together, and stay together as ‘One Guyana’”, the President has said.
The President has echoed that “the ‘One Guyana’ vision springs from our rich multicultural heritage and the need to ensure that our diversity remains a source of strength, and not an instrument of division and disaffection.”
The Head of State’s ‘One Guyana’ initiative also aims to ensure that every citizen is accorded a dignified existence, with due respect for their rights and with equality before the law.
Meanwhile, following President Ali’s announcement on Monday, declaring today as a ‘National Day of Fasting and Prayers’, the Alliance For Change (AFC) faction of the Parliamentary Opposition has endorsed the initiative.
In a statement on Wednesday, the AFC said it supports the call for a National Day of Prayer and Fasting.
“As always, the AFC remains ready, willing, and committed to working with the Government and all other political parties, civil and society organisations, and individuals… The AFC therefore calls on its members, supporters, and all Guyanese to offer and observe prayers and fasting on Friday, April 8, and every day thereafter, for our dear land of Guyana, so that the ills in our body politic and wider society – discrimination in every form, racism, corruption, nepotism, arrogance, pride, greed, revenge, persecution and malice, to name a few, can be removed from our lives.”
The minority partner in the Coalition Opposition further added, “It is time that we realise our true destiny as one nation, of one people, that our Founding Fathers and Mothers imagined.”