Call for special prayers in Assam to rid world of virus

After church leaders in Mizoram and Nagaland, heads of ‘satras’ in Assam have sought divine intervention on July 30 for ridding the earth of the novel coronavirus that claimed 100 human lives in the Northeast till July 26 morning.

A ‘satra’ is a monastery of the Vaishnav order that the 16th century saint-scholar Srimanta Sankaradeva had propagated. Assam has some 900 ‘satras’ that are central to the Assamese culture.

The heads of at least eight major ‘satras’ and 16 religious organisations, including the apex Assam Satra Mahasabha, have sought 15 minutes of time from the people for praying at their homes on July 30. “Scientists are working on a vaccine. There is no harm in praying for their success and for delivering the earth from this deadly virus,” said Jyotirmoy Prodhani, president of the Mahasabha.

The abbots of the monasteries have chosen 6.45 p.m. as the “auspicious time” for the prayers to start.

On March 28, churches of all denominations across Christian-majority Mizoram organised special prayers after the State recorded two COVID-19 positive cases. The State has so far recorded 361 positive cases, of which 178 are active.

Churches in Nagaland followed suit on April 12.

Three deaths reported in Nagaland on July 25 took the COVID-19 casualty count across the eight northeastern States to 100.

According to the State-wise data, Nagaland is fourth on the list of deaths due to the pandemic. Assam heads the list with 77 dead followed by Tripura with 11, Meghalaya (5), Nagaland (4) and Arunachal Pradesh (3).

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 10:58:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/call-for-special-prayers-in-assam-to-rid-world-of-virus/article32198765.ece

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