UNICEF Issues Guidelines For Religious Functions During Pandemic

by GoNews Desk 3 years ago Views 2534

UNICEF Issues Guidelines For Religious Functions D
UNICEF and several religious groups have issued guidelines to safely pursue the path of religion and faith during Covid-19, to counter misinformation, and to help the weak and deprived.

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on religion-related ceremonies and posed a risk to public health due to rituals like prayer, funerals, marriage, kissing of religious objects and other common religious rituals. 

Three sets of guidelines have been issued so far - 

Adapting New Ways To Gather Together, Pray and Practise Rituals -This guide contains specific recommendations about how religious personalities should gather, pray and perform religious ceremonies and all forms of death and mourning while ensuring the safety and well-being of their communities. Community leaders have been asked to promote hygiene and sanitisation practices, change in rituals as needed, plan & prepare, work closely with govt authorities and adoption of technology wherever possible.

Communicating to End Misinformation, Discrimination and to Instill Hope - This document outlines some important factors of rumor, fear, despair, stigma and discrimination and factors that increase negative effects. Religious leaders have been given guidance on how they can deal with misinformation and fear, on using language that promotes stigma and mental stress of people affected by stigma. The leaders have been asked to ensure accurate information to fight against misinformation, myths, and rumours, encourage faith communities to promote science alongside faith, amplify the voices, stories and images of local people among other things.

Helping Those Who Are At Risk: People like the elderly, homeless, migrant, disabled persons, pregnant women and children are at greater risk of health complications and death due to COVID-19. The religious leaders have been asked to identify the most at-risk, adapt and respond to special needs, approach at-risk groups with respect and compassion among other things. 

These guidelines are intended for local adaptation and use by religious leaders, faith communities and faith-based organisations at national and community levels.

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