The Church of Pakistan (CoP) has called for special prayers and donations as it endorsed the government’s emergency call for financial support for the people directly affected by heavy floods caused by torrential rains across the country.

A press release issued by the office of the President of the Church of Pakistan, Bishop Dr Azad Marshall, stated that all CoP churches will offer prayers for the victims of the flooding during Sunday’s mass and appeals will be made to all faithful to donate generously for the relief of the affected people.

“While the level of devastation will not be known until the flood waters recede, it is obvious that the people of Pakistan, especially those living in remote areas, are going to need a lot of help. Our hearts grieve over the loss of lives and the devastation caused by this natural disaster and we pray for God’s mercy and grace on our beloved country.

“As I make this call for a special offering, the words of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew come to mind. In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me’. I firmly believe that our resilient nation will rise up to the challenge and together we can alleviate the suffering of our countrymen.”

Bishop Marshall said that all diocese of the CoP will make utmost efforts to support the disaster relief efforts of the government. “I also appeal the federal government to remove all obstacles hindering the church, faith-based organizations and non-governmental organizations efforts in raising funds and relief goods from international donor agencies,” he said.

The senior bishop, who is currently abroad to participate in the annual conference of the World Council of Churches in Germany also said that he had decided to cut short his visit and return to Pakistan to supervise the relief efforts of the CoP.