By Mary Joseph, Communications Officer, SAT-7 Egypt
Coronavirus came and set my WhatsApp on fire.
Every few minutes I check it and find a list of messages that could either be text, pictures, videos or links – and all of them about Coronavirus.
There are humorous messages mocking the current crisis, supportive religious advice be it Christian or non-Christian, vlogs and voice messages from unknown people giving advice, and others.
THE SPREAD OF RUMORS AND FAKE NEWS
I’m trying to get used to this avalanche of hourly messages until the crisis is over, but what I find disconcerting is the spread of rumors and fake news at this time.
Quite often, a rumor circulates, and the government comes out with a statement denying it.
It’s easy for people to believe governments’ statements, but when it comes to God, who can address people’s misconceptions about Him?
ADDRESSING PEOPLE’S MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GOD AND CORONAVIRUS
People of fragile faith find themselves in a dilemma. But SAT-7 is keen on spreading messages of hope by declaring God’s love to his people.
In a special interview, exclusively filmed with SAT-7, renowned psychiatrist and apologist Maher Samuel, answers viewers questions live about God and the Coronavirus pandemic.
Questions about God’s faithfulness and love to people, prayer effectiveness, and precautions versus faith were sent by viewers online for Dr. Samuel to answer.
As the popularity of Psalm 91 increases among youth as a spiritual weapon against Coronavirus, Dr. Samuel says it isn’t about just praying Psalm 91 but “God promises to protect us in the Bible. He protects us every day from many dangers that we don’t even see. Jesus says Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Many people are questioning God’s faithfulness and accusing Him of creating diseases. But Dr. Maher answers “God is the source of all good. His pleasure is in His creation and their enjoyment of His gifts. He created nature for man. But man destroyed nature because of greed and violence, consequently, diseases, viruses and many bad things emerged from the abuse of nature. This isn’t from God. He created an excellent world for man, but man’s sinful nature is damaging the nature God created.”
On the other hand, many believers think the virus is a punishment from God just like the Old Testament. “Coronavirus is not a punishment from God. He is the source of all goodness. But man chose to isolate himself from God through sin and became outside of God’s protective power. This is the reason why many lethal diseases are killing humans,” he says.
The online live interview with Dr. Maher Samuel drew 140,000 views on Facebook and over eight thousand views on YouTube in only two days.
The large number of viewership reflects a deep thirst for knowledge and a sense of need for guidance and understanding of God. One viewer commented,
This interview made a difference for me and shed light on many topics and answered many questions I had. May God bless you.”