Sulawesi’s Christian minority have been severely affected by Friday’s catastrophic earthquake and tsunami which have devastated the central region of the sprawling Indonesian island. “Thousands of houses, Christian schools [were washed] away and disappeared by tsunami and earthquake,” wrote one Indonesian pastor to Barnabas Fund today (Tuesday 2 October). Another email from Indonesia received by Barnabas Fund this morning reported, “Many churches were destroyed by the earthquakes and caused many pastors and church members suffered (sic).”
Although Muslim-majority, Sulawesi has a Christian minority of around 20%. Amongst the dead are 34 students who had been attending a Bible camp; their bodies were found yesterday under a church buried by a mudslide. Another 52 students from the Bible camp are still missing.
The Indonesian government announced a few hours ago that the official death toll is already over 1,200 and expected to grow. The UN estimates that almost 200,000 people are in desperate need of aid. Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi, is now in its fifth day without power or water.
Despite difficult communications and travel, Barnabas Fund’s partners on the ground, who include churches, theological colleges and ministries across Indonesia, are already active in sending aid, while others are poised and ready to go. They are requesting help from Barnabas Fund.
Please pray for people of all faiths who have been affected by this terrible disaster. Remember especially our Christian family, asking that they will be a source of hope, peace and comfort to all, amidst the chaos and destruction.
Emergency aid is needed now, but soon it will be necessary to help rebuild lives, livelihoods and church buildings. Your gift to Barnabas Fund will be forwarded to our Indonesian project partners to fund their aid to Christians affected by this disaster.
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