COVID-19: Exploring Faith Dimensions
Responding to COVID-19: Repurposing Religious Sites
Mosques, synagogues, churches, shrines, and other holy sites sit empty because of national lockdowns and physical distancing restrictions. Communities who cannot visit these places are turning in many cases to virtual gatherings. A variety of reports describe fast-developing, clearly temporary, ways to use the empty sites to meet urgent needs linked to the COVID-19 crisis. Two examples are in Iran and New York City. In Iran, where the deadly outbreak appears to have begun following large gatherings at the holy shrines of Qom and Mashhad, the Shah Cheragh Shrine (in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz) is now being used to house a workshop where women produce masks.

In New York, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and seat of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, is to be used as a field hospital, caring for 200 patients. The crypt will be a "staging area" for medical personnel. Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel III, the dean of the cathedral, pointed out that care for the sick has long been a primary responsibility of religious institutions. "Traditionally, in earlier centuries, cathedrals were always used this way, like during the plague. So this is not outside the experience of being a cathedral, it is just new to us.” 

(Based on April 5-6, 2020, IFP News and NYT articles)
Help Spread the Word
Share the sign-up form for the daily emails:

Share the online platform:

If you have news articles, guides, or other relevant resources you wish to share with us for review please email We are particularly interested in learning more about groups facing acute vulnerabilities (refugees, elderly, those impacted by the digital divide, in fragile states, etc.). Please send us any information you see.
Georgetown University Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs
3307 M Street NW, Suite 200︱Washington, DC 20007

You are receiving this email because you are subscribed to the
COVID-19: Exploring Faith Dimensions mailing list.
update your preferences I unsubscribe from this list | View this email in your browser

Copyright © 2020 Georgetown University. 
All rights reserved.