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Condolences for Chinese earthquake victims

21 May 2008

                                                                                    Geneva, 21 May 2008 

Your Excellency, 

It was with great sadness that we received the news about the disastrous earthquake which struck the Sichuan Province in China last week and which claimed thousands of lives, and razed houses, schools, roads and bridges. On behalf of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and our members around the world, I express our most sincere condolences to you, your government, family members of the victims and the entire Chinese people who mourn and grieve over the loss of thousands of lives and the missing of numerous people due to the natural disaster.  

Your Excellency, while your country and people are experiencing such pain and ordeal at this time of a national crisis, I assure you that the WCC is committed to join hands with the people of China in their efforts to reduce and alleviate the sufferings of the affected victims in the Sichuan Province. Ever since the news about the earthquake was reported, we have been in touch with our friends and colleagues at the China Christian Council (CCC) and the Amity Foundation. We came to know that both CCC and the Amity Foundation have immediately joined with the local governments, Sichuan Christian Council and other partners in the affected areas in relief and rehabilitation efforts. The humanitarian aid arm of the WCC and its member churches, Action by Churches Together (ACT) here in Geneva began a process to mobilise its members in various countries to extend all possible assistance to the people in affected areas in the coming days through its member, the Amity Foundation. 

It was heartening to know of the success of the immediate rescue and relief operations undertaken by the Government of the People's Republic of China and various other organizations. It is my earnest prayer and hope that these efforts will reduce the sufferings of the affected people.

Your Excellency, at this hour of grief and mourning in your country, I want to assure you that the thoughts and solidarity of millions of WCC members from around the world will accompany you and the people of China. 

Yours sincerely,                                                                  

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia

General Secretary