Pastor Abante invokes ‘prayer power’ versus Covid-19


In the midst of efforts to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, Minority Leader Benny Abante on Monday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to declare Sunday, March 22, a “National Day of Prayer” as a way to unify a country “in the darkest of times.”

The Manila lawmaker said “today we face an unprecedented public health crisis that will test our people and stretch our resources.”

“History, however, has shown that the Filipino people have always overcome the challenges confronting them with resolve and faith,” said Abante, a pastor and founder of the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church and Ministries.

“As government mobilizes its resources and rallies the people in efforts to prevent the spread of this disease, I urge President Rodrigo Duterte to declare this Sunday, March 22 a National Day of Prayer, to help unify the country in prayer and faith and to inspire all of us to set aside our differences as we confront a disease that threatens us all,” he said.

According to Abante, while religious activities have been restricted as part of precautions to slow down the Covid-19 outbreak, “this does not mean we should stop praying for the safety of our families and our country.”

Guidelines issued by Malacañang now prohibit mass gatherings such as movie screenings, concerts, sporting events and other entertainment activities, community assemblies, and non-essential work-related gatherings shall be prohibited.

Abante said he would strictly enforce the guidelines in his congregation, and would encourage other pastors to comply with government advisories.

“The government needs the cooperation of everyone, and I believe religious leaders have an obligation to set an example for their flock in the days to come,” he said.