.- Eighty percent of religious sites in the Chilean regions hit by last month's earthquake are in desperate need of repair, according to a report prepared by the Office of Statistics for the bishops' conference of Chile. The prelates note that some $260 million will be needed for reconstruction efforts.
Twelve of the country’s 27 dioceses were affected by the earthquake, with 545 religious facilities reporting damage, 440 of which are churches.
The statistics indicate that nearly one million Chilean Catholics are currently unable to attend their regular parishes. For this reason, pastors and parish assistants have made extra efforts to ensure the continuity of liturgical services and pastoral ministry.
Due to the severity of the damage, the executive committee of the bishops' conference has established a Reconstruction Support Commission to collaborate with the prelates on restoration efforts across the country.