Louisiana governor urges 'a day of prayer and fasting' over coronavirus

Louisiana governor urges 'a day of prayer and fasting' over coronavirus
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The governor of Louisiana on Tuesday called for people to join him in a day of "fasting and prayer" in honor of those who have died or lost loved ones to the coronavirus.

In a post on social media, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) wrote, "In this Lenten season where we focus on fasting and prayer, I wanted to let the people of Louisiana know that I will be fasting today."

"I ask you to join me in a day of prayer and fasting for comfort to those that have lost a loved one to COVID-19," he said, adding that, according to the Catholic faith, "prayer coupled with fasting is pleasing to God."

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The governor included an image quoting the Bible verse John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Lent, the period in the Christian calendar that culminates on Easter, is often marked with acts of self-sacrifice and abstention. It begins the day after Mardi Gras, Louisiana's most famous holiday.

On Monday, Edwards posted an updated report of 1,172 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, with at least 34 deaths.

He highlighted that Louisiana's case growth is faster than any state in the country, ranking third per capita.

"This is why we need people to stay at home as much as possible. Don't go out unless you absolutely have to," Edwards said. "And if you do need to go out, get what you need and return home."

Edwards concluded his message by saying, "God will, as He has done before, heal His people and our land."