Methodist Church appeals following Pakistan floods

The Methodist Church in Britain has launched an appeal for thepeople of Pakistan as the number of flood victims continues torise.

The Church of Pakistan called for help after torrential monsoonrains fell over the southern Sindh province last week, destroyinglivelihoods and spreading disease. More than 7.5 million peoplehave been affected by the disaster and the number could still rise.Four church staff in the Raiwind Diocese died of dengue fever lastweek and the epidemic has claimed many more lives across theregion.

Steve Pearce, Partnership Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific, isset to visit Sindh province next week. He said: "The scale of thedisaster is huge. These are the people who were also flooded lastyear, so some of them have not yet got their livelihoods back inorder. The Church of Pakistan is in a position to help. Pakistanichurch leaders have met with local government officials and that isimportant because Pakistan is an Islamic state where Christians area minority."

This week the Church's World Mission Fund gave a grant of £20,000to the Church of Pakistan. Half of the money will go towardscurbing the spread of dengue fever through the purchase of mosquitonets, insect repellent and sprays. The other half of the grant willbe used to buy food and emergency supplies. NGOs are responding tothe crisis, but the Church's response is helping to dispel negativeconnotations surrounding Christians in Pakistan who have beenoppressed because of their beliefs and their associations with theWest.

People can donate to the Pakistan Appeal launched by the WorldMission Fund via the Methodist Church Just Giving page or bysending a cheque payable to the World Mission Fund to Steve Pearce,World Church Relationships, at Methodist Church House, 25Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JR. Postal donations should belabelled 'Pakistan Appeal'. UK taxpayers can Gift Aid theirdonations allowing the Church to reclaim an extra 25p for every £1donated. Just include a completed Gift Aid form with yourdonation.