The COVID-19 pandemic has put the world to a standstill. Church doors are closed and Sunday services are now streamed online. Only essential businesses are still operating and most of the workers are isolated at home. The Coronavirus is an invisible enemy that has infected more than 2.4 million people worldwide and killed more than 150,000.

Religious leaders offered messages of hope to alleviate people’s feeling of fear and uncertainty during the pandemic.

Every crisis in our world is an open door to show God’s love. While the current environment around the nation is one of fear, God is in control. —Rick Warren, Saddleback Church pastor

In his Easter message, Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren, said, “Every crisis in our world is an open door to show God’s love. While the current environment around the nation is one of fear, God is in control. Now, more than ever, is an opportunity for the church to outshine the darkness and serve people in pain in our communities.”

Best-selling author Francis Chan, who recently moved to Hong Kong with his family, posted a video on his YouTube channel encouraging Christians during these trying times. Instead of looking at the situation in a negative light, Chan advised people to see this as an opportunity “to reach a lost world and show them we haven’t lost our love, joy, and peace.”

Christian theologian Thomas Jay Oord believes that God is a god of love and therefore will not allow the destruction of mankind. In an essay on his website, he wrote, ” God can’t defeat the Coronavirus single-handedly. God needs our help. In this time of struggle, God needs the best of medicine, the best from social leaders, the best from each of us.” He added that, “We are always called to love.” The author explained that health protocols to combat to Coronavirus, including social distancing and following quarantine policies, can be forms of love.

In an interview with Missouri-based newspaper, Sedalia Democrat, Rev. Don Satterwhite, senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, offered these words of hope: “We will get beyond this crisis so keep your head up and do your best to encourage someone else. Make a phone call to a friend or family member and see if you can do anything for them.”

Meantime, Rev. Dennis Harper, senior pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church, reminded people that, “God is with our community in this trying time. God does not abandon us, and if we all look around we will have the opportunity to offer and receive love and compassion. There is hope.”