World Council of Churches expresses deep solidarity on Ebola

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The World Council of Churches has expressed deep concern and solidarity with the people of countries affected by the Ebola Virus Disease.

World Council of Churches (WCC) Acting General Secretary Dr. Isabel Apawo Phiri has said this in a letter to the Liberian Council of Churches.

Writing from Geneva, Switzerland, Dr. Apawo Phiri says that the WCC shares the devastating concerns that the Ebola crisis has brought about especially its impact on the lives of men, women and children living in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.

The WCC is also concerned about the risks to the many caring local and international health service providers who are giving medical care and support for those at risk or already infected by Ebola. Dr. Apawo Phiri says, “we understand the fear that has gripped these countries and the difficulty of extending pastoral care to the patients of Ebola. We appreciate the need for isolating patients in order to control the spread of the disease. We also understand the troubling sense of isolation felt by the patients, as it goes against the African culture to suffer or to die alone”.

At the same time, Dr. Apawo Phiri has called on the international medical community to work as a team to find humane solutions to curb the spread of this deadly disease.  Dr. Phiri says, “Ebola reminds us that it is the poor and the weak of our societies who are the first to be impacted by such deadly diseases. We call on our member-churches and congregations to seek out appropriate ways of supporting our affected brothers and sisters, particularly through our Christian health services in the affected countries, who are over-stretched and lacking many of the basic necessities and resources to deal effectively and compassionately with this crisis”.

Dr. Apawo Phiri further says the prayers of all WCC members are with those who have lost their loved ones and those who are currently sick and aware that there is limited hope of recovery. She says the WCC is praying for the protection of the teams of international and local doctors and support staff, who are risking their own lives in order to bring hope and healing to the victims of Ebola.

Quoting from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians 1 Cor. 12: 26, which says “If one member suffers, all suffer together,” Dr. Apawo Phiri’s letter ends with a prayer for the healing ministry of the churches in order that they may bring compassion and the sustaining love of Christ to the families of the victims of Ebola.

Among the many who have died of Ebola is a religious Brother and Hospital Director Patrick Nshamdze. Cameroonian born, Brother Patrick, died in Elwa hospital of Monrovia at the age 52. He was a religious Brother of 23 years.

Vatican Radio

Source: (Aug. 10, 2014)