URC joins global call for prayer and relief for Kerala flood victims

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People rescue banner credit CSIFollowing severe flooding across Kerala, a southern state in India, the United Reformed Church has joined the Church of South India (CSI) and global ecumenical partners in appealing for prayers and support for the region.

Since the monsoon began in June, around 400 people have died, and thousands have been displaced and rendered homeless. The figures are expected to rise as many people are still reported missing.

The CSI Synod has reported that nearly three million people from 52,856 families have been rescued from various parts of the state and are being sheltered in 5,645 camps.

Rescue boat credit CSI

The Revd Dr Michael Jagessar, URC Secretary for Global an Intercultural Ministries, shared his concerns: ‘The impact of this disaster will have a long-term effect on the lives of many,’ he said. ‘While rebuilding lives, communities and infrastructure is of primary concern, the important question of global warming and its impact on lives around the world need to be addressed. This is the collective view of Indian meteorologists and environmental experts. We will continue to hold the people of Kerala, our friends and partners, in our thoughts and join in acts of solidarity.’

With people in desperate need of shelter, food and clean water, Dr Jagessar encouraged those wishing to make donations to consider emergency appeals organised by Oxfam and Christian Aid.

Mr Derek Estill and the Revd Nigel Uden, Moderators of the URC General Assembly, added: ‘Through the safety of our TV screens we have witnessed the distress and untold misery to millions of people in Kerala. We pray that their pain and suffering soon ceases through the goodwill and support from people around the world and, most importantly, God’s grace.’

Kerala prayers credit CSIIn a statement released on Saturday (18 August), the Revd Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, said: ‘Our hearts go out to people living in terrible fear in what has become a precarious situation. Local churches have become especially important in bringing hope to remote villages cut off by flooding that has destroyed roads and bridges … We also hear reports of damage to churches and relief centres, and we pray for those trying to respond even while coping with their own losses.’

The Most Revd Thomas K Oommen, Moderator of the CSI, thanked those in the Madhya Kerala Diocese who have already responded to the crisis.


Pictures: Church of South India Synod

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