Pakistan (MNN) — Thousands of Pakistani Christians who are victims of catastrophic flooding are being denied aid because of their faith. Open Doors is responding to requests from partner organizations on the ground in Pakistan to provide emergency aid packages for desperate families who have lost everything.
Pakistan's worst natural disaster in its history is being described as a "slow-motion tsunami" that is expected to worsen. The catastrophe has rendered 5 million Pakistanis homeless and over 1600 dead. Over 20 million need humanitarian assistance: food, shelter and emergency care. Outbreaks of cholera and dysentery have heightened fears of deadly waterborne diseases. The number of people reported to be suffering from acute diarrhea has reportedly reached 200,000.
One third of the country is under water says Carl Moeller, President/CEO of Open Doors USA. He says, "This is their bread basket. This is where all of the food and all of the resources the country produce for itself are grown. With all the seed crop destroyed and all of the coming disease, this is going to be a human disaster of epic proportions."
Many of the suffering Christian families in the region are being denied any assistance because they are Christians. For some, the sole place of refuge is a local mosque, where extremist strongholds are strongest and Christians are, in fact, most vulnerable.
Moeller says Open Doors is providing emergency packs to help Christians provide aid. "It is a terrible disaster, but it's also an opportunity for the love of Jesus to be a way for us to bring people to know Him through providing this relief — medical and food assistance."
For Muslim-Background Believers who have been in hiding, the situation is particularly dire as they are now more exposed than ever. News sources have reported increasing extremist violence against Christians, including demands either to vacate the region or convert to Islam.
"Our brothers and sisters in Christ in Pakistan who have long suffered for their faith are now suffering doubly," said Moeller. "Many have lost everything, but not their faith. They are looking to you and me for help in their moment of dire need. Open Doors' goal is to provide relief through our partners in the short term in order to strengthen and equip the Christian community in the long term."
You can help! For $180, you can purchase emergency aid packs which will
provide a family of six with essential items, including food, medicines,
pillows, blankets, cooking utensils, forks and spoons. To provide an
emergency pack, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or visit
the Open Doors Web site at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.
Pakistan is ranked No. 14 on the Open Doors World Watch List of 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians.
• Clean drinking water, food, shelter and medicine will get to the affected areas as soon as possible
• Pakistani Christians will reach out to their neighbors in love in the affected areas
• Peace will come to Pakistan, which is in the midst of unrest and widespread violence
• Christians will be granted freedom to worship without violence or harassment
• The persecutors of Christians will be brought to justice.
• Download the Ramadan Prayer Calendar
• Download the State of the Church Update
• Learn More about the 2010 World Watch List and why it matters
• Share your prayers for the Muslim World on Facebook
An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest, and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world's most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535), or go to their Web site at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.