Natural Disasters

Local Catholics provide relief, aid to majority Muslim population

.- According to FIDES, local Catholic community members are on the front lines assisting the distressed earthquake survivors in the city of Padang, Indonesia. Most of the people receiving aid are Muslim.

“We are doing everything we can. We have mobilized all our resources to assist the earthquake victims, especially and most importantly prayer,” Bishop Martinus Situmorang of the Diocese of Padang told Fides.

“Charity knows no boundaries or categories,” said the bishop, referring to the interreligious aid. “Every diocese is taking part in a nationwide collection for funds to help the affected people.”

The diocese is sending blankets, food supplies, clean water to the homeless survivors. Catholic communities are also offering special prayers. Moreover, homeless families are being sheltered in Catholic centers and homes assisted by the local Caritas volunteers.

The humanitarian work is benefiting from the cooperation of Caritas Germany and Catholic Relief Services in the U.S.

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Sumatra March 6, killing at least 82 people. The epicenter was about 30 miles northeast of Padang. According to Fides, 420 people were injured and 1,000 homes and other buildings collapsed, among them, Catholic schools, hospitals and parish structures. 

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