Italy’s Evangelical Alliance held a day of prayer on Sunday March 22 as the country’s death toll from the coronavirus has now surpassed that of China’s.
651 died today in Italy, bringing its total to 5,476. This is down from Saturday’s figure, when 793 people died.
A video posted to Youtube showed army trucks filled with bodies being taken out of a local hospital in what has devastated the country.
“The current Covid-19 crisis that is ravaging Italy is providing many opportunities for the evangelical minority to overcome divisions, to shine as a testimony of the hope evangelicals have in God,” Italy’s Evangelical Alliance stated. “This hope is based on the truth found in God’s word and the salvation it teaches we have by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in the work of Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.
“This is a message of hope that sounds completely different than the messages of hope being proclaimed by the majority religious institution and Italian humanists/secularists. Theirs are false messages of hope telling people to look within themselves, at their own goodness, at the goodness of those around them, regardless of belief in God.
“In fact, the Vice President of the Alliance, Leonardo De Chirico stated: ‘We are not aware of a time in Italian history where there has been such a large representation of the Italian evangelical churches converging on a common prayer initiative.’”
A total of 16,018 cases of infection had been recorded in France, while that country’s death toll stands at 674.
“We stand with all of the evangelical churches who are praying across Italy,” commented Franklin Graham. “And our hearts go out to the people of this great country who are enduring incredible suffering. We grieve with those who have lost loved ones. And we pray that God, who answers prayer, will turn and abate this dreadful disease.
“Will you pray especially for the people of Italy today? Let us pray that the devastating effects of the coronavirus will be halted worldwide.”
Meanwhile, The World Health Organization warned young people they are not invincible and to stay wise at this time after video spread of young people flocking to Australia’s Bondi Beach.