© Albin Hillert/WCC

© Albin Hillert/WCC

In a letter issued on 25 August, addressed to Rev. Luca Negro, president of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy, WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit offered “heartfelt condolences to the people who lost family members and friends.” The letter follows the massive earthquake that hit central Italy in the morning hours of 24 August, taking hundreds of lives.

”We are saddened by the images of the devastating destruction of villages and the stories of survivors mourning for loved ones they lost or still hoping for others to be rescued out of the rubble,” said Tveit. “We thank God for all those who come to help and continue to search for those who might be still alive.”

As the number of victims is still rising, Tveit reached out to the global fellowship of churches, to pray and offer support to those affected. “We call on sisters and brothers in the global fellowship of churches to pray for the bereaved families of those who are killed and injured and affected with their loss of property due to this devastation.”

Turning finally to people and churches in Italy, Tveit concluded, ”We gather with all of you under the cross of Christ. In Christ we take refuge and find hope in the middle of such death and despair. May Christ be with you all and strengthen you as you face the consequences of this natural disaster.”

Full letter by WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit

Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy

WCC member churches in Italy