The World Council of Churches and the Christian Conference in Asia issued today the following statement on the earthquake that struck Nepal:
We have been deeply saddened by the news of the tragic 7.9 powerful earthquake that has rocked central Nepal. Official’s reports confirm that at least 1800 people are known to have died in Nepal after the devastating 7, 8 magnitude quake, making it the quake-prone Himalayan nation’s worst disaster in more than 80 years. Dozens more people were reported killed in different places in the neighboring India and China. The reports that tremors were felt in several parts of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh which border Nepal and a minor quake of 3.1 magnitudes at the Qijiang district of South west China’s Chongqing municipality are alarming and causing serious concern about the security and safety of millions of people. There are fears the final toll could be much higher than what is already confirmed by now.
On behalf of the World Council of Churches and the Christian Conference in Asia, we offer our heartfelt condolences to the people of Nepal and northern India who lost loved ones in their families and among friends in this powerful earthquake and its aftershocks. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who are affected by this disaster. While we appreciate the rapid responses of several governments and aid agencies in rescue and relief operations and humanitarian aid we urge churches and specialised agencies in the ecumenical family to extend every possible support for humanitarian aid assistance in Nepal and other affected areas in the neighbouring countries.
We call churches around the world to pray for the bereaved families of those who are killed and injured and affected with their loss of property due to this devastation.
”God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”. (Psalms 46:1)
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit Dr. Mathews George Chunakara
General Secretary General Secretary (elect)
World Council of Churches Christian Conference in Asia