Included here are some cases that highlight exceptional behaviour under the novel coronavirus (CV) pandemic that cuts across religious boundaries. The Christian cases were drawn from the United States and South Korea; Islamic cases were drawn both from India and Iran; and the Hindu and Sikh cases were highlighted from India.
We are ordinarily disposed to look for evidence of the positive role religions play in society. Religion, as Durkheim posited, is a “force” that activates a sense of obligation in the faithful to reach beyond self. This impulse usually results in positive action and behavior. This essay, however, brings together exceptional cases that cut across religions where the ordinary functionalist positivity gives way to negative behavior. Here, irrationality, inwardness, and selfishness trump wisdom and altruism. This essay attempts to offer a glimpse into this reality with the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus named COVID-19 in view. The evidence highlighted here shows that the faithful suspend reason in behaving with a sense or motive inspired by their faith even when it is clear there might be serious personal and social costs involved.
Mission is shaped by the life and experience of the church, both past and present, and this in turn is the function of both the work of the Spirit of God and the interaction of the people of God with their contexts. In line with this position, we examine the impact of Covid-19, highlighting some elements of the global context of mission, trends in world Christianity and mission.