Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pakistan’s bishops call for Christian solidarity in the face of floods



Our country is facing the biggest natural disaster in its history. The super floods of the mighty River Indus have brought death and wide spread destruction – over 15 million people have been affected and lakhs of homes have been washed away by the raging waters. We stand in solidarity with those who have suffered in this national tragedy.

What is our Christian response in the face of such an enormous disaster? We are followers and disciples of Jesus Christ. He taught us that love is the most important commandment. “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). To live as a Christian means to stand up and actively promote love, mercy and compassion, especially for those who are hungry and in extreme need.

In this critical moment of national tragedy, it is our Christian duty to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Muslim and Hindu brethren and face the common calamity with courage and determination. We your religious leaders want to mobilize our limited resources in doing what we can to alleviate the sufferings of the many displaced persons.

We Bishops appeal to all our members to come forward and help the flood-hit people with cooked foods or dry rations, and also provide tents for shelter and medicines against cholera and other diseases. Our youth are urged to serve as volunteers in relief camps.

We also call for a Day of Prayer on Tuesday, 24th August 2010 in all churches in the country. If possible a Holy Hour of Adoration could be arranged when Christians will pray earnestly that the Almighty Provider may have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and failures and save us from further harm and destruction. We also instruct the priests to recite every day the special prayer in the daily missal “in time of storms and floods”.

In this dark moment we must not lose hope but put our full trust in God who reminds us “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid, for I am your God “(Isaias 41:10)

This appeal is to be read out in all the churches on Sunday, 22nd August 2010.

In the end we invoke our solemn Episcopal blessing upon our beloved motherland and wish it peace, unity and prosperity.

Your devoted Shepherds in Christ,

† Lawrence Saldanha

President, Pakistan Catholic Bishops Conference &

The Catholic Bishops of Pakistan

Please consider to the Pakistan relief effort by giving to Catholic Relief Services

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