05/19/2008, 00.00
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Chinese Christians aid Sichuan quake survivors

Catholic and Protestant volunteers work in the area to distribute food and medicine. Anglicans and Catholics in Hong Kong launch fundraising drives. In the area struck by the quake, more than 1,500 Catholics are missing.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Catholics and Protestants in China and Hong Kong - like all the Chinese - are offering economic support, donating blood, and praying for the victims and survivors of the earthquake in Sichuan.

The Amity Fundation, a Protestant organisation composed of various churches and established in China for years, just a few hours after the earthquake sent a group of representatives to Chengdu, capital of the province of Sichuan, to begin aid operations by distributing medicine, food, water, blankets, and tents.

Groups of Catholic young people from Chengdu arrived in Dujiangyan several days ago to help in the distribution of aid.  The city is sadly famous for the collapse of its schools, which led to the death of at least 600 children and young people.

A group of 50 Catholic volunteers from Hebei, including some sisters and priests, arrived yesterday at the site of the earthquake.

Catholics and Anglicans in Hong Kong have launched fundraising drives to help with reconstruction.  Caritas of Hong Kong has for years been involved in fostering development in many villages in China, and is in the first ranks of aid efforts for the survivors.

In the area of the earthquake, various churches and homes have been destroyed, and many Christians are missing and perhaps dead.  According to data gathered by Xinde, a Catholic magazine in Hebei, in Wenchuan, the epicentre of the earthquake, there were 500 Catholics whose fate is unknown.  The same is true for the 1,000 Catholics of Qingchuan. In Dujiangyan, at least 20 of the 400 Catholics are missing and perhaps dead.

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