Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi Holds Online 'Satsangs' as Coronavirus Lockdown Halts Religious Services

IANS

Abu Dhabi With religious services suspended across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the coronavirus pandemic, a Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi has been holding a webcast of weekly 'satsang sabha' on Friday evenings in an effort to help the faithful remain calm, a media report said on Saturday.

"In light of the current global coronavirus pandemic, to assist with the government's efforts to contain the virus and support public health and safety, we have voluntarily suspended all assemblies at the BAPS Hindu Mandir until further notice.

"However, you can join our weekly prayers online at sabha.mandir.ae every Friday at 4 p.m.," the Khaleej Times report quoted the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir of Abu Dhabi as saying in an online post.

Ashok Kotecha, one of the Directors of the temple, said: "To support the government's efforts, we have suspended our activities from last week and are hosting Friday prayers online at 4 p.m."

Meanwhile, Rev Fr Ninan Philip, vicar and president of the St Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, said that although the gates of the church have been locked, prayers and services were being held throughout the day by the priests who reside within the church premises and special prayers are being recited for the victims of the epidemic.

"We have opened up an online portal on our official website and Facebook page to live stream the mass. These have been viewed by over 25,000 members from all across the globe, all of who attended the service with absolute reverence and devotion, and are blessed to partake in the fellowship and thanksgiving from their homes" he added.

The St Mary's Catholic Church in Dubai has been holding live-streaming of masses every day after places of worship temporarily shut as a precaution to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further.

"We have dedicated priests each day who conduct online masses that are live-streamed everyday... We feel good serving people and are glad we can conduct these masses online as something is better than doing nothing at all...," Rev Father Lennie Connully, parish priest at the St Mary's Catholic Church, told Khaleej Times.

The UAE has so far reported 405 confirmed coronavirus cases and two deaths.