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Quake in Java: Help the helpers, says Indonesian Church

ICC NOTE: the Christian response to this natural disaster has the potential to considerably help strenthen the church in Indonesia.

30 May, 2006

The Crisis Centre of the Bishops’ Conference of Indonesia is gearing up in order to boost its wide local aid network. The population is showing its great generosity through volunteering, collecting food and clothing, and raising funds in the country’s parishes. International Catholic agencies are arriving in the quake zone.

Yogyakarta (AsiaNews) – In light of the extensive damages caused by the earthquake in Java and the slow pace of domestic and international aid due to red tape, the Indonesian Church has opted to “help the helpers”.

Guided by this principle, the Crisis Centre of the Bishops’ Conference of Indonesia (KWI) has set up its operational headquarters in Yogyakarta . Its director, Fr. Ignatius Ismartono, told AsiaNews that the Church and Catholic relief agencies are moving in to bring aid to the victims of last Saturday’s quake.

Caritas internationalist and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) are already on the ground with their staff. CRS has already allocated US$ 200,000 in emergency funds and has started giving out tents and food to survivors.

World Vision has already launched its own initiative from Jakarta and so have other Christian organizations like the Salvation Army and the Church World Service.

Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. Muslims constitute 88 per cent of its 245 million. Catholics are about 3 per cent. (MH – MA)

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