12 July 2021
The Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) joins faith organisations from around Southern Africa calling for a daily, two-minute period of silence from Tuesday 13 July 2021. The multi-faith environmental and social justice organisation says it urges people of faith across the region to observe, daily at noon, a brief period of silence in prayer and meditation daily.
According to SAFCEI’s Executive Director Francesca de Gasparis, this daily pause at noon was first initiated by a group of faith organisations in Cape Town, including Cape Town Interfaith Initiative, due to rising covid numbers and concerns about the well-being and safety of fellow South Africans. Historically, we learnt from other faith organisations that the practice was first proposed by City Councillor Robert Brydone in respect for the victims of war and compassion for those left behind, in 1918.
“Regionally, we are facing many challenges of health, failing economies and a marked decline in ethical governance (the latter has led to increased corruption and ultimately more suffering and pain). In addition to wreaking havoc on health systems and jobs, the third wave of the virus is also affecting families and faith communities. SAFCEI’s call is to pray for peace and prosperity for the lives of people who are affected in the region,” says de Gasparis.
“Even if people do not identify nor are affiliated with any religious group, please join us by taking just two minutes from your day to pray for well-being, order and dignity to be restored in these beautiful lands of ours,” she concludes.