SANTA ANA, Calif. – Christian church groups in Pakistan are asking the worldwide Christian community to pray for an estimated 3-4 million people who have been affected by the country’s worst flooding in 70 years.
The flooding has resulted in the deaths of over 1600 Pakistanis, the homeless of millions and the loss of billions of dollars in destroyed crops.
Open Doors USA urges believers in the West to unite in prayer for the victims of the flooding and also for the victims of continued violence against Christians. Compass Direct News reported two weeks ago that a dozen men shot five Christians to death as they came out of their church building in Sukkur on July 15.
Five other Christians were wounded in the attack. Pakistan is ranked No. 14 on the Open Doors World Watch List of 50 of the worst persecutors of Christians worldwide.
“Not only are Christians being targeted for the belief in Jesus Christ, but now many have been devastated by the flooding,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller. “Please join me in prayer for the Christian community there.”
UPDATE (Aug. 13, 2010) – The media has given extensive coverage to the floods – the worst in 70 years – that have hit Pakistan, causing widespread devastation. Reports estimate 1,500 people have died and 14 million have been affected by the flooding, which covers a quarter of the country. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Pakistan.
What has not been reported is the impact this disaster has had on Christians living in a Muslim-majority society. Open Doors has received the following statement from church leaders in Pakistan:
“Many people have lost their homes, and the safest areas for them to congregate have been mosques. Ramadan (the month of fasting for Muslims) has begun and we are deeply aware of how vulnerable Christians are at this time. We are concerned that Christians will be sidelined in relief efforts, and are working to provide immediate assistance.
“We hope to set up relief centers to provide clean water and medical services. Also, we plan to run counseling centers and set up biblical training centers to train Christians in some of Pakistan’s most vulnerable regions so we can prepare a strong Christian presence for the future.”
Open Doors is assessing the situation and will likely help to provide support to Christian groups working with those affected by the disaster.
UPDATE (Aug 16, 2010) – Pakistan’s PM Yusuf Raza Gilani increased estimates of those affected by the flood to 20 million.
- Clean drinking water, food, shelter and medicine will get to the affected areas as soon as possible
- Pakistani Christians will reach out to their neighbors in love in the affected areas
- Peace will come to Pakistan, which is in the midst of unrest and widespread violence
- Christians will be granted freedom to worship without violence or harassment
- The persecutors of Christians will be brought to justice.
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