In a press conference on Thursday, Louisiana’s Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards called for three days of fasting and praying during lunchtime from July 20 to 22.
“I know it’s a little bit unusual,” Edwards said. “This will be a spiritual diet and exercise that I, as a Catholic Christian, believe is very important anyway.”
He said the prayers are intended for the people of Louisiana, the sick, caretakers and the families of those who have passed on. The idea arose from a telephone conference he had last week with religious leaders from across the state of Louisiana—Edwards said he hosts such a call every three weeks.
Edwards invited all state residents to take part, regardless of their religious faith. Many religions—including the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths—use prayer and fasting in rituals that emphasize community observance.
During the press conference, Edwards reported that the state has reported 24 new deaths, bringing its total COVID-19 death toll to 3,375; and currently has 1,400 hospitalizations, more than double the total state amount at mid-May.
His press conference occurred on the fourth day of the new mask mandate and closure of bars, an executive order signed by the governor which went into effect on Monday.
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