By Parliament Staff
The Parliament of the World’s Religions stands in awe over the collaborations of faith communities in helping the people of Nepal. Our prayers are with the nation now and always.
In the aftermath of the devastating April 25th, 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, faith communities are stepping up to coordinate relief efforts. Stories emerging on the first days of recovery illustrate the possibility of human compassion on a mass scale.
Nepalese member of the Parliament’s Ambassador program, Dadhiram Khanal, reports by e-mail that his community is safe after one week without electricity. Over the past few days, Khanal and his family have been collecting relief funds through Alliance for Peace, Education and Development (APED) around the country and elsewhere.
News of faith communities uniting demonstrate how widespread the service of religion can be in times of disaster; Kathamandu’s Buddhist nuns are gaining international attention for employing ‘kung-fu’ to salvage monastic grounds, while Vatican Radio reports that Nepal’s religions are “united for earthquake victims” and exemplifying interfaith values:
The Venerable Renchen, representative of the Buddhist community, and Manohar Prasad Sah of the Hindu community said: ‘We are doing our best, and when religions come together they can meet the basic needs of the people. Solidarity, peace and charity are concepts shared by all.
Love and Assistance Pours in from Global Faith Neighbors
Providing meals to those unable to secure food and water continues pose a significant challenge. To aid earthquake victims, Sikh leaders from The Golden Temple in Amritsar, India are distributing one hundred thousand food packets. Taiwan’s Buddhist leaders have donated food, blankets, and other items to those displaced by the disaster. Meanwhile, Singapore masjids are collecting money to send to Nepal and Iran’s Red Crescent Society is sending 40 tons of relief supplies including tents, blankets, dishware, and moquette to the region. Lutheran World Relief,Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Catholic Relief Services, and Gospel for Asia have sent volunteers to assist crews on the ground in Nepal while World Jewish Relief has announced an emergency appeal campaign for survivors.
The United States government has already pledged $10 million in relief. Nonprofit organizations like Save the Children, The American Red Cross, and others continue their appeal for more donations to send to the region.
At this stage of response, workers of municipal agencies are attempting to recover as many ancient sacred artifacts as possible from the rubble of leveled temples and World Heritage sites in the region, NPR reports.
The disaster is garnering global support, with both faith-based and secular organizations making major strides in providing aid for survivors. The outpouring of monetary donations, relief supplies, and on-the-ground rescue volunteers demonstrates the compassion embedded in all faiths. These efforts represent only the initial steps in providing necessary relief to Nepalese communities, giving a glimpse at what the coming months will hold as the nation moves forward in rebuilding after the tragedy.
Parliament Communications Staff Nafia Khan contributed to this article.