Poor and Persecuted Christians under
The whole world is at risk, as never before.
Governments order lockdowns. Rich countries pour their resources into battling the invisible foe.
But what about countries whose health systems barely function at the best of times? Countries that cannot hope to provide salaries for those who suddenly cannot work? Or places where people live crowded together in refugee camps without adequate sanitation?
What about Christians where they are despised and discriminated against?
'Only if you renounce Jesus Christ'
Pastors and their families in some parts of India are being excluded from government food aid during Covid lockdown, but Barnabas Fund is helping to feed them as well as other poor Christians excluded from government aid
Pastor “James” went to collect the food that the central Indian government is providing to poor and needy families affected by Covid-19 lockdown, but the distribution was organized by local Hindu extremist groups, who dominate the government in the state where Pastor James lives. They refused to give him anything unless he renounced his faith in the Lord Jesus. Of course, Pastor James would not deny his beloved Saviour, so he went home empty-handed to his hungry family.
“I am unable to provide food for my two children,”
Krishnappa and Mallamma, who are both blind, worry about providing food for their children, and medicine
Krishnappa and his wife Mallamma are both blind. They live in a small, rented tenement in Bangalore, India. Krishnappa supports the family by working at a garment factory but now his work and wages have stopped because of the lockdown. “I am unable to provide food for my two children,” said Krishnappa. Mallamma worries also how to get her husband the medicine he needs. At their church there are about 75 other poor Christian families. “We are earnestly praying that God will help all our congregation members,” said the pastor.
“We are living by faith. God will never let us down.”
Botoli and her husband know God will never let them down
Many migrant workers from north-east India work in Bangalore, including a large number of Christians. “We are living by faith. God will never let us down. He will send us help,” said Botoli, who can no longer earn anything from her job as a saleswoman at a health store. Her husband used to teach at a small Bible college in Bangalore but last year was diagnosed with cancer of the colon. The medical treatment forced him to give up his job and Botoli is the family breadwinner.
How Barnabas is helping
The Barnabas Coronavirus Emergency Network
Barnabas Fund has launched a Covid-19 Emergency Fund, for poor, marginalised and persecuted Christians, those who have no one else to help.
BCEN has already sent $1,475,000 in aid to 24 different countries, yet the needs of Christians continue to grow daily.
How we are helping
Poor and elderly Christians, like Sargis and Julieta in Armenia, are begging their churches for help. But the churches lack funding to buy even basic foodstuffs for them. Then there are countries like Laos, where poor rural Christians are severely persecuted, often by being banished from the fields where they grow their food. Barnabas Fund has received urgent appeals for help from both Armenia and Laos.
2. Hygiene products
Africa is bracing itself for an explosion of coronavirus, the start of it delayed only because there is less travel to and from their continent. How can they protect themselves? A Christian leader in Uganda has asked us for soap and hand sanitiser gel for South Sudanese refugee families in Uganda. Other requests have come from Pakistan.
3. Rural pastor support
In many countries, the income of a pastor is from the donations of his congregation, on Sundays or when making pastoral visits. But the government in places like Kenya, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Uganda has ordered a lockdown. Now Christians cannot gather for worship, and pastors cannot visit homes. In any case church members have nothing to give. The pastors and their families are in desperate need.
“When I had some one greeting me, it was the voice of my pastor. As usual, I thought he had come to pray with me; I was so happy to hear him talk about food; I had taken three days depending on taking water and some little milk from my neighbour who had come to my rescue. The pastor mentioned to me that I should move to the church and receive food. I felt as if I was dreaming because no person had ever come to my house with such news. I used to depend on the food from my small garden that had been destroyed by locusts and there was nothing to harvest. I did not take long to respond to the voice of my pastor. Being disabled, I called one of my grandchildren to led me to the church where food was being distributed. I am extremely happy because I have now received food. I can now live for more days. I had earlier thought that the time for me to die had come. May God bless whoever has contributed to this food. I am happy and I am going to prepare my meal now; Ohoo….. thank you God, today I will have an excellent sleep”.