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Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

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How to Help Erthquake Victims in Nepal

Photo: UNDP

Photo: UNDP

Over 3800 have died and over 100 000 people are homeless in the devastating Nepali earthquake last Saturday. Nepal is a precious nation for me personally – my church has been working there a lot – and so I quickly looked up what organizations are providing humanitarian relief. Here are some I can recommend:

Christian Aid are bringing aid relief such as water purification kits and temporary shelter through the international aid network Act Alliance. You can donate in pounds, euros and dollars.

The Mennonite Central Committee already have offices and personell in Nepal, and thankfully all are safe but they obviously have a lot to do now and need support.

World Vision is initiating a response to bring food, water, shelter, emergency health interventions and other types of aid to Nepal.

Finally, UNICEF is coordenating with other UN bodies for a massive response to make sure that especially children are safe. You can donate at their website in almost every currency there is.

Also, please pray for the people of Nepal, all the humanitarian aid workers and the Nepali church in these challenging times. God bless you!

The Forgotten Disaster: Help Me Send Relief to Earthquake-Struck Pakistan

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Two earthquakes with the magnitude of 7.7 and 7.2 have hit the very poor districts of Awaran and Turbat in the Balochistan province, Pakistan. At least 375 people have died and 185 000 have been affected. Thousands are homeless and in need of immediate humanitarian relief.

Unfortunately, not many aid organizations are working in the area. It is a forgotten disaster. The only Christian NGO I could find was Christian Aid who cooperate with Muslim Hands to bring aid to the Balochistan victims. But then, we also have the grace of more relational international contact. (more…)

Women in Wartime

Today is International Women’s Day, a day which highlights the severe discrimination and oppression of women all around the world. There are strong evidence for the thesis that if gender equality is promoted in developing countries, it will give positive effects when it comes to political participation, poverty reduction and human rights.

But gender equality also has an intrinsic value, as people created in the image of God, it is totally unacceptable when women are facing oppression, violence and humiliation. Christian Aid has written this text about women’s situation in war, with the case study of Syria, that emphazise the importance of gender awareness.

Women in wartime

Today some 90% of war casualties are civilians, the majority of whom are women and children. 

Just over a century ago, when the first International Women’s Day events were held, women and children made up only 10% of war casualties, while military personnel made up the majority of those who lost their lives.

Victims of sexual violence in DR Congo

Victims of sexual violence in DR Congo

International Women’s Day and Mothering Sunday

This year International Women’s Day and Mothering Sunday fall over the same weekend, on 8 and 10 March respectively.

These are both moments for celebrating the strength, resilience and inspiration of women all over the planet.  But they are also times to draw attention to the fact that women are the world’s second class citizens.

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Mali: Hunger, Terrorism and Miracles

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While Mozambique, DR Congo and South Sudan also are facing enormous humanitarian crises, Mali is perhaps the African country which has most problems right now. Islamists supported by al Qaida have taken control of the northern parts of the country to practice extreme sharia laws, and to stop northern Mali from becoming a terrorist state, France is cooperating with the Mali government in a military offensive. In the midst of violent conflict are millions of civilians that already were poor, hungry and sick before. The result is disastrous. UNHCR reports:

Since the start of the conflict in northern Mali a year ago, more than 150,000 refugees have fled to neighbouring Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso, while nearly 230,000 have sought safety in other areas inside Mali. […] Most are living in poor neighbourhoods with little or no access to housing or vital services such as clean water, education and health.

People fleeing the current fighting between French-backed government forces and rebels in the north of Mali tell alarming accounts of atrocities. A former resident of Gao, who left the northern town after recent air strikes, told UNHCR that food and fuel were in short supply.

“The situation in Gao is difficult. The rebels took all the medicines from Gao hospital. I saw dead bodies everywhere, in the yard of the hospital,” said Agesha, who fled the town last Sunday.

I strongly urge you to support Christian Aid’s West Africa Food Crisis Appeal, which will bring food and humanitarian relief to the people in Mali and surrounding areas. And I also urge you to pray for this country. There are few Christians in this country, and because of the rise of extreme Islamism, they are severely persecuted. Yet, the main thing Mali needs to get rid of war, poverty, terrorism and hunger, is a mighty Holy Spirit revival. They need a miracle, and they need it now.

Conscious about this urgent need, I was so encouraged when I found this testimony  concerning a miraculous healing which occured on a Christian clinic in Mali three years ago:
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Humanitarian Disasters: The Facts

Text by Christian Aid:

Almost half the world’s population has lived through a disaster at some point in the past decade. It’s enough to make you fear the future.

Storms, floods, famine, cyclones, drought, typhoons, earthquakes, mudslides, avalanches.  Each year for the past decade, an average of 258 million people have lived through some kind of disaster – in total, this is the equivalent of almost half of the world’s population.

According to the Red Cross, an average of 354 natural disasters occurred throughout the world each year from 1991 to 1999. Between 2000 and 2004, this figure more than doubled to an average of 728 natural disasters per year.

And each year, the death toll from disasters is growing greater – from 84,570 in 1995 to 249,896 ten years later, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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Save the Lives of Syrian Victims of War!

Few have missed that there is a catastrophical humanitarian crisis in Syria. 60 000 have died in the conflict, about 1.2 million Syrians are displaced within the country, and another 600,000 have fled their homes for neighboring countries. As if this wasn’t enough, the winter this year has been very cold in the Middle East, and about one million Syrians go hungry.

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

In the midst of this enormous sufferings, many Christian aid organizations do their best to bring humanitarian relief to these victims of war. In Lebanon, to which over 150 000 Syrians have fled (half of them being children), both World Vision and Christian Aid are providing food, shelter, heating and more. They are currently helping thousands of families and plan to expand the relief even more. Obviously, they need money for that.

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Activist Animations on YouTube

I’ve been putting together a playlist on YouTube called Activist Animations. Using visual communication is very effective in mobilizing action for a better world, and so a well-performed animation can get a lot of impact. Please spread them on! Here are some of my favourites: