Confronted by the worldwide Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 934 declaring the fourth week of March 2020 as National Week of Prayer. The proclamation urges “Filipinos of all faiths, religious traditions and backgrounds to unite our hearts in prayer as we face the COVID-19 threat, fixing our eyes on the Almighty in this time of affliction.”
In support of the proclamation, the Philippines Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a message calling on all members “to pray the Lord will protect our nation, its people, and any visitors among us, from the harmful effects of COVID-19 and to heal those suffering from COVID-19 and bless them with a speedy recovery. Let us also pray the Lord to comfort those who have lost friends or family members. As we kneel in prayer with our families, let us please include a plea for protection of the most vulnerable and courageous sectors of society—especially those serving in the frontlines as medical professionals, health workers, military and law enforcement officers, government officials and personnel and all Filipinos sacrificing their lives to help, serve and protect our communities.“
In response to the call for support, Filipino Latter-day Saints are encouraged to use social media to help invite others to join them in prayer with the catchphrase “Let’s pray the virus away” and the #NationalWeekofPrayer.
This move does not in any way minimize the importance of strictly following the guidelines of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and health precautionary measures prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH). Everyone is reminded to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, avoid touching their faces, disinfect their homes and frequently touched objects, and to wear masks when going out to get supplies.
The social media campaign is meant to help everyone to battle the coronavirus with clear heads and rational minds. As stressed by the Area Presidency, “Fear and uncertainty are replaced by faith, hope and charity as we connect with and rely on Jesus Christ.”