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News / Thoughts

Massive earthquake causes devastation

February 6, 2023

Your prayers are urgently needed, following a devastating earthquake. The epicentre of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the morning of 6 February was in the South of Turkey in the Gaziantep province. Tens of thousands of people have been killed – the full scale of the damage and the number of victims is still being investigated.

Video: A refugee pastor’s wife in Turkey shared this footage of earthquake aftermath in Adana.

It is said to be one of the strongest earthquakes to hit the region in over a century. An Open Doors partner in the region called Father Fadi shares what he has seen. His church buildings suffered material damage, though thankfully nobody was killed there:

“In other buildings in our city, there are dead people and you can hear now the ambulances. There are a lot of casualties,” he shares. “Please we ask you to pray for those who are suffering from the earthquake.”

“We’re still in the shock phase,” says Ibrahim Najjir, another local Open Doors partner whose name has been changed for security reasons. “What we’re doing now is providing shelter for the Christians at some churches and providing them with food and warmth – it’s very cold now.”

Give now…

A gift of whatever you can afford, could help to provide urgent relief, including food and blankets, for a persecuted Christian affected by the earthquake.

People left their homes suddenly, and in many causes can’t return – either because their houses have been destroyed, or are unsafe. “We’re talking about more than 20,000 Christians now in the streets,” says Ibrahim. “I’m now in the street also. No one is at home. No shops, no food. People are really suffering.”

Ibrahim sees that this is a vital time to share the hope of Jesus:

“We want the love of Christ to be reflected in what we are doing,” he says. “It’s a good opportunity to embrace the people – and to bring greater unity between the churches, because all churches are now working together to serve Christians, helping them to survive.”

Strengthen what remains

Ibrahim adds: “Our goal is to strengthen what remains. So we need always to help people not only to survive, but also to thrive. So we need to help those Christians, not only with relief support, but also we need to think of the long-term.”

“Words cannot describe what we went through this whole day,” says Majd George, a teenager in Latakia who is sheltering in a church. “Please pray for those people who are trapped, that they will be rescued. Also pray for those people who lost everything, or lost their loved ones.”

In the video below, from Syria, you can see Christians who found refuge in a church and joined together to sing. There’s no electricity, so they’re using the light of their mobile phones to see the words. We can use the lyrics of the song as a prayer for our brothers and sisters affected by the earthquakes:

“Our land is thirsty, it’s filled with wounds, the flood of Your love will heal her, the touch of Your hand will fix and restore it, back to Yourself, this is our hope in You our Lord.”

Where is worst affected?

Please pray now…

  • That those who are trapped in will be safely rescued
  • That hospitals and the emergency services will be able to cope and help all who have been hurt
  • That aid will get to where it is needed
  • That the church will be able to provide people with safety, supplies and hope

Give now…

A gift of whatever you can afford, could help to provide urgent relief, including food and blankets, for a persecuted Christian affected by the earthquake.

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.