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Political tensions give way to protests

By July 25, 2011

Malawi (MNN) — The drastic cutting of British aid funding to Malawi has rocked the country. That, plus high food and fuel prices, started widespread rioting and protests in the streets as of last Wednesday.

The UK is joining ranks with several other countries and organizations boycotting Malawian government for failure to respond to issues in their country. There have been several months of diplomatic attempts to resolve Malawi government actions, but to no avail.

Malawi government officials have neglected their duty to human rights, fair governing, and fuel importation issues, and have restricted their people's ability to demonstrate peacefully against government practices.

Amidst the demonstrations and chaos, CURE International has been in the thick of it. Their Malawi base, CURE Malawi, closed at the start of the riots and even had protesters passing as close as their front gate.

CURE Malawi is now operating again and established a security committee to determine which areas are safe and which areas are too dangerous for staff.

For CURE Malawi staff, the danger cannot prevent them from doing what God has called them there to do. They provide medical assistance and surgeries to children who are physically disabled.

Stuart Palmer, CURE Malawi Executive Director, writes in an update, "All non-state owned radio stations have been taken off the air. Only Facebook and Twitter are enabling us all to find out what is happening on the ground. CURE Malawi continues to operate but in a limited capacity for the safety of our staff and patients."

While many demonstrations started out as peaceful, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, stated that police used force and live ammunition to subdue protestors.

As of Friday, July 22, the Ministry of Health and police officials confirmed 18 deaths, 250 arrests, and several critical injuries. Looting by bandits has also occurred under the chaos created by the civil unrest.

With the loss of so much aid and government funding, the needs of the people are only climbing, making CURE Malawi's assistance in the community even more critical, as well as the message of the Gospel they bring.

The people of Malawi are looking for hope in these desperate times. CURE Malawi pairs everything they do with the message of hope in Christ. The Malawian people can find a more stable hope in Christ as government officials disappoint with their actions. Hopefully through CURE Malawi's ministry, they can show the greater assurance of faith in Christ.

Please pray for the safety of the staff with CURE Malawi in these times of tension. Pray also that their medical and evangelistic ministries would only expand and that more people would receive the physical and spiritual healing they need.

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