As the global pandemic upends major holidays underway or approaching for several prominent religions, COVID-19 is uniting leaders and practitioners regardless of the differences in what they believeBy GARY FIELDS Associated PressMarch 31, 2020, 5:51 PM4 min readSILVER SPRING, MD. — The global pandemic is upending the season’s major religious holidays, forcing leaders and practitioners across the spectrum to improvise. They’re having to finding new ways to live out their beliefs in a time of social distancing and empty houses of worship. “One hundred years ago during the Spanish Influenza, congregations also canceled (services) and quarantined. Now, COVID-19 imposes the necessity of social distancing, which is an anti-congregational, isolating imperative,” said Robert Franklin, a theology professor at Emory University and former president of Morehouse College. “However, all of our traditions aim for a sense of right relationship with the holy.” That singular goal can connect and unite different faiths, Franklin added: “Rituals may divide, but righteous intent unites and elevates us all.” The holidays range from the holiest week on the calendar for Christians to the Passover meal that symbolizes the Israelites’ journey out of bondage in Egypt. Over the next month, Hindus and Sikhs will also celebrate a new

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