As people around the world struggle to adapt to the global challenge of COVID-19, the burden is far greater for the downtrodden and oppressed.
In an attempt to stem the spread of the virus, Indian authorities have ordered everyone to return to their home villages. For huge numbers of migrant labourers, this has left them without food or shelter. In slums where large families are packed together in small shelters, the concept of social distancing is impossible. Many of India’s Christians are among the poorest segments of the population and may face further rejection because of their faith.
Similar problems are being experienced in refugee camps around the world. As world economies plummet, those on the peripheries are frequently neglected. Within refugee camps, Christians are frequently neglected when humanitarian aid is distributed.
In Pakistan, organisations have been providing food aid to those hit hard by the lockdown. However, on more than one occasion, when people show their identification to receive this provision, they have been refused unless they are Muslim.
On 28 March, two pastors in Nepal, were falsely charged with holding worship services in contravention of isolation orders. In one case, the pastor was simply explaining to some of his members that they must leave when police barged in and arrested him, claiming he was holding a service. On the same day, another pastor was conversing with others living on the church premises when police climbed over a locked gate and accused them of having a worship service.
Sources: New York Times, BBC, Morning Star News, International Christian Concern, Church in Chains, VOM Canada Contacts
- Pray for all those around the world who are suffering from this disease, as well as those who have lost loved ones as a result of infection.
- Pray for those who are being denied humanitarian aid or medical treatment because of their faith.
- Pray the Lord will use this time of fear and uncertainty to reveal to many the love of Christ and the plan of salvation.
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