The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has pledged the Kirk’s support for Pakistan in wake of the devastating floods.
Kirk officials have received first hand accounts of the disaster from many members of its partner church in Pakistan, including the Bishop of Peshawar, who was present at May’s General Assembly in Edinburgh.
The Moderator met the Rt Rev Humphrey Sarfraz Peters during this time, adding a personal dimension to the crisis.
Today, Thursday 5 August 2010,the Rt Rev John Christie said the Kirk had an important role to play as many in the north-west of Pakistan try to rebuild their lives.
He declared: “None of us can be detached from the crisis which faces the victims of the almost unprecedented monsoon flooding which has struck North West Pakistan.
“The International Red Cross reports that up to 2.5 million people – a figure equivalent to almost half the population of Scotland – have been affected by devastating floods.
“The flooding is enormously destructive of lives and property and the agriculture which is the livelihood of so many.
“Information coming through the media tells of a staggering crisis. For example village wells have been inundated with flood water and mud and the water is now unsafe to drink due to contamination by bacteria which causing disease like cholera and dysentery.
“The Church as a whole has a particular role to play in supporting our sisters and brothers in the flood stricken area by what we do as we support the aid agencies.
“We also express concern and assure the leadership and members of the Church of Scotland’s partner church in Pakistan, as well as the wider community, of our prayers and thoughts at this time.”
The Church of Scotland’s presence in Pakistan goes back over 150 years when the first Scottish missionary, the Rev Thomas Hunter along with his wife, Jane Scott, and baby son, went to Sialkot in January 1857.
A first hand account of the current situation from the Bishop of Peshawar can be read here: http://www.peshawardiocese.org