The Caribbean Area Presidency called out all citizens of the region, whether or not they are members of the Church, to join in a day of collective fasting this weekend as we face the current situation generated by the coronavirus (COVID-19), which affects millions of people worldwide. The call was made public through a statement that we include in full below:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joins with the national authorities and the people of in their Caribbean Area concern and the actions being taken to confront the current situation caused by COVID-19, which also affects us as a global organization, as families and as individuals.
We recognize that many are now suffering due to illness and other situations seriously affecting our country; including health, education, transportation, production, commerce, communications and many other basic aspects of our lives.
Nevertheless, during our presence in each country, preaching the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and serving our communities, we have been given the opportunity to see the spirit of faith, devotion to God and love for one another that reigns among this people.
Therefore, we extend a special invitation to all citizens to join with our faith and good will in a collective fast to take place this Sunday March 29th, 2020 starting at noon. This fasting refers to the refraining from food and/or drinks for a period of 24 hours, as we pray for this situation to end.
Due to certain health conditions and other reasons, we recognize that some may not be able to do this in the same way or for the same period. We know that there is no one with so little that he cannot give something; thus, we invite each to give their best effort. The Lord will see every sacrifice and bless us all.
Fasting is a common practice among Christians, similar to other practices seen in other faiths across the world, where human beings devotedly, personally and voluntarily sacrifice to ask for God’s blessings regarding an issue of major importance. We feel deeply that the current situation deserves this kind of a joint effort of faiths and hearts.
We suggest the purpose of this special joint fast to be the following:
- That this dangerous illness, which has done so much harm, may cease to affect our citizens, that it stops spreading and disappears as soon as possible.
- That those whose physical, mental, material or spiritual stability have been affected, may receive comfort and find solutions to pass through this difficult moment of trial.
- That the rulers of our nation may receive guidance and inspiration to act in their positions of authority and responsibility to meet the people’s most pressing needs.
As a nation of believers, we have trust in God’s mercy and kindness because He loves all of His children and promises to each one: “Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love” (Doctrine & Covenants 6:20). He certainly watches over and cares for all of us.
May the Lord bless every people in the Caribbean and may His powerful kindness penetrate each home. May we accept this humble invitation to join our faiths to show God that we are willing to act as if all depends upon us, when we indeed know that all flesh is in His hands.