SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The month of April will mark several important holy celebrations for billions of Christians, Jews, and Muslims around the world.
However, the global coronavirus pandemic is drastically changing the way people of faith are worshiping. Many faith centers in the Sacramento region have already moved to online religious services.
“You know it’s been challenging,” said Rabbi Greg Wolfe of the congregation Bet Haverim in Davis. “It’s been time consuming, but I think in the end it’s been very hopeful.”
Now, the faithful are preparing to celebrate major religious holidays like Easter, Ramadan, and Passover at home. All of these holy celebrations involve interaction with the community, which has been limited.
"We are faced with the same challenge,” said Imam Amr Doubr of the Sacramento Islamic Center and Mosque. “At a time, that is very critical for all of us. That’s why we all, I guess, we get closer to each other than ever before.”
While religious leaders are remaining positive, they say the change hasn’t been easy. Doubr gave a sermon to an empty prayer hall for the first time several weeks ago.
“It was very emotional moment... looking in front of me and the prayer hall is empty was really a moment that it was, it was very mixed feelings,” Doubr said.
Faith leaders say while the separation has been difficult, there are lessons to be learned like the importance of community, said Pastor Curt Harlow with Bayside Church.
“It’s kind of brought us together, where we’re praying for each other, delivering meals to each other, solving needs on the front line small group by small group for each other,” Harlow said. “So, it’s high tech, but it’s kind of gone high connect.”
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