An international religious community based in the UAE has called for a global day of prayer to help scientists find a cure for Covid-19.
The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, formed during Pope Francis's visit to Abu Dhabi last year, called for people of all faiths from across the world to make May 14 "a day for fasting, prayers and supplications for the good of all humanity".
"Each one, from wherever they are and according to the teachings of their religion, faith, or sect, should appeal to God to lift this pandemic off us and the entire world, to rescue us all from this adversity," the committee said on Sunday.
It called on people to pray for scientists to be inspired and to find a cure that would "save the whole world from the health, economic and human repercussions of this serious pandemic".
It urged all religious leaders and people across the world to respond to this "call for humanity".
The date chosen is significant in Islam because it falls within the final 10 days of Ramadan – believed to be the holiest of the month.
The initiative has been backed by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
Pope Francis and Dr Ahmed El Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, each threw their support behind the day of prayer.
On Facebook, Dr El Tayeb said: "I invite everyone to participate in this call, and to pray sincerely to Allah Almighty to lift this blight for people and to inspire scientists to find a cure that can turn back this disease."
Pope Francis added: "Because prayer is a universal value, I welcome the committee's call to believers of all faiths to be spiritually united on May 14, a day of prayer, fasting and charitable work, to pray to God to help humankind overcome the coronavirus pandemic.
"Believers of different faiths will unite to pray, fast and perform charitable work."
The committee comprises a diverse set of international religious leaders, educational scholars and cultural figures.
It was established to introduce the Document on Human Fraternity, which outlines goals for religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
The document was signed by Pope Francis and Dr Ahmed El Tayeb during their visit to Abu Dhabi in February last year.