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Church leader calls for global fast for coronavirus relief

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President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is calling for a global fast on Good Friday, a traditional day of fasting for many faiths.

“He issued this invitation to the world,” Boyd Matheson, Opinion Editor of Deseret News, told The Gaydos & Chad Show on KTAR News 92.3.

More than 1.3 billion Catholics from around the world will fast on Good Friday.

Typically, the fast is not eating for 24 hours but it can be anything an individual would like.

“Do what you can, whatever is a sacrifice for you is great,” Matheson said.

Last weekend Nelson spoke from a podium, inside a small, largely empty auditorium, rather than in the church’s conference center that seats 20,000 people. Conference plans were altered as the church dealt with the world-wide impact of COVID19.

“I invite all, including those not of our faith, to fast and pray on Good Friday, April 10, that the present pandemic may be controlled, caregivers be protected, the economy strengthened, and life normalized,” Nelson said during a special session of the Church’s 190th Annual General Conference.

Nelson closed 160 temples around the world, canceled weekly services, and brought home 30,000 missionaries to the United States in a couple of weeks.

Matheson, Opinion Editor of Deseret News, recently wrote on the topic:

Science and spirituality are indeed complementary and connecting, elevating and empowering. A day of fasting and prayer should be combined with every citizen taking every precaution and pursuing every scientific solution that can be found. The people of the earth really should unite and give faith and reason a try.

In 2005 church president Gordon B. Hinckley asked members to fast for victims of a tsunami that struck Southeast Asia on Dec. 26, 2004.

Disclaimer: The LDS Church owns Bonneville International, KTAR News’ parent company.

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