After a bruising 2020 that saw the resolve of communities around the world put to the test, many people hoped this year would be somewhat brighter.
But 2021 brought a wealth of new challenges. COVID-19 continued its deadly and unrelenting march around the world, with the pandemic exacerbating social and economic inequalities and countries in the global south struggling to access and administer vaccines to vulnerable populations. The fast-emerging Omicron variant already looks set to define 2022.
Democracy in the United States suffered a nearly fatal blow in January as supporters of defeated presidential incumbent Donald Trump attacked the US Capitol. Thousands of people in countries including Syria, Yemen and Ethiopia died in wars that are grinding on without respite and that receive only scant global media coverage. And the ever-worsening climate emergency affected millions more people around the world – and disproportionately so in developing countries that have emitted the least greenhouse gases.
Faith leaders are often on the frontline in providing essential spiritual and emotional support and guidance in times of crisis. And there’s evidence that a growing number of people are finding solace in religious belief. A study conducted in summer 2020 found faith convictions had strengthened among nearly three-in-ten Americans during the first ravages of the coronavirus pandemic.
In this episode of The Stream, we’ll be joined by three faith leaders to talk about providing comfort and solace to communities in times of continuing uncertainty.
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