WCC chief extends condolences to flooded communities

By agency reporter
September 4, 2017

As tens of thousands of people coped with the aftermath of flooding in South Asia and the USA, the World Council of Churches (WCC) General Secretary, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, said the WCC fellowship is praying for flood survivors and those helping them.

“We stand with you as you face the pain of lost loved ones, destroyed homes and disrupted lives”, he said. “We pray for your continued strength and for the strength of those offering rescue and relief in so many ways – as churches, as neighbours, through amazing feats and through simple acts of kindness.”

In South Asia, flooding from heavy monsoon rains has affected 40 million people in Bangladesh, India and Nepal, killing at least 900 people and destroying tens of thousand of homes, as well as schools and hospitals, according to the United Nations.

Floodwater is also covering land and dwellings in Texas, USA, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. There, at least 39 people have perished. Another storm – Hurricane Irma – was intensifying in the Atlantic Ocean over the weekend.

Tveit commended individuals, churches and organisations helping with rescue, response and long-term recovery in South Asia, Texas and other communities across the world struck by disasters.

At the same time, he urged, we have to do what we can to prevent new catastrophes by considering how we care for creation and the ramifications of a continued future of global warming.

The capacities to cope with emergency relief and long-term recovery from disasters can vary, Tveit continued. “A rich country will have the resources that poor countries don’t have to adapt to recover – be it to pay the costs for a lost home and lost resources or to shelter a displaced population. Disasters often expose disturbing injustices.”

As people of faith we hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, concluded Tveit. “We have to act together for a more just and sustainable future for all of creation.”

* More on WCC work on Care for Creation and climate justice here

* The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, by the end of 2012 the WCC had 345 member churches representing more than 500 million Christians from Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other traditions in over 110 countries. The WCC works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

* World Council of Churches http://www.oikoumene.org/en

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