Typhoon in the Philippines: People of faith respond
Faith communities are offering prayers and scrambling to help as the Philippines reels from a typhoon characterized by some climatologists as the most powerful ever to make landfall.
The full extent of the devastation wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan has yet to be determined, but reports Monday (Nov. 11) indicated that as many as 10,000 people may have perished in one city alone and more than 650,000 nationwide were displaced from their homes. All in all, reported The New York Times, some 10 million people in the island nation’s midsection have seen their lives upended by the storm.
The largely Roman Catholic country was already struggling to recover from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in October, as well as ongoing issues of poverty.
Tragedy on such a scale can be almost unfathomable, raising many questions, challenges and opportunities for all, including people of faith. ReligionLink offers story ideas and resources for covering this and other natural disasters.
- Alertnet: Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Alertnet.org posts articles about disaster response, refugee crises, disease and other pressing humanitarian issues.
Association of Religion Data Archives:
The Association of Religion Data Archives provides numerous data collections on religion. Its resources on the Philippines can be found here.
- CIA World Factbook — Philippines: See the CIA’s World Factbook entry on the Philippines for extensive background and data on the nation, including its religious makeup (in the People and Society section).
Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma:
The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma provides resources to help ensure “informed, innovative and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy.” The center is a project of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Extensive resources for covering the typhoon and its aftermath can be found here.
Who Does What Where:
Who Does What Where, also known as 3W, is a directory of organizations, agencies and others that provide emergency humanitarian response. The United Nations’ emergency response coordination office maintains the list, which is searchable by country and type of organization. Find names and detailed contact information for groups working in the Philippines on this page (scroll down to the International NGO section).
Articles and blog posts
- “Philippine typhoon survivors beg for help as rescuers struggle”: Read a Nov. 11, 2013, Reuters story about the dire circumstances facing the typhoon’s survivors and those trying to assist them.
- “Witness Walks ‘Endless Path of Misery’ Left by Super Typhoon Haiyan”: Read an account, posted by Christianity Today, of the typhoon’s aftermath as described by a World Vision aid worker.
- “How Churches Can Help Without Hurting After Super Typhoon Haiyan”: Jamie Aten, founder and co-director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College in Illinois, offers these suggestions to congregations and faith groups wanting to help. The essay is posted by Christianity Today.
- “Ex-priest Kevin Lee dies in Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines”: Read a Nov. 11, 2013, article in the Australia-based online publication The Age about a former Catholic priest who is among the typhoon’s victims. Kevin Lee, who married a Filipino woman, drowned just weeks after becoming a father.
- “Philippines storm disaster underscores need for bold climate action — negotiators”: Read a Nov. 11, 2013, Reuters story about how the typhoon is prompting calls for action on climate change.
- “God in the midst of the Typhoon: Suffering, Compassion, and Action Now”: Omid Safi raises ethical and faith-based points to consider in this Nov. 11, 2013, post on his Religion News Service blog, “What Would Muhammad Do?”
- “How to Help Typhoon Victims”: This Nov. 10, 2013, post from Time Magazine lists and provides links to organizations involved in the typhoon emergency response, including a link to the Google Person Finder page for the disaster.
- “Church Providing Aid in Wake of Typhoon”: This news release from the Mormon Newsroom outlines aid being provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- “Humanist Crisis Response”: The Humanist Crisis Response program of the Foundation Beyond Belief is asking humanists to contribute relief money for the Philippines. Within days, the appeal raised $40,000.
- “Israel and Jewish Groups Rush To Aid Typhoon-Ravaged Philippines”: The Jewish Daily Forward describes relief efforts by Israel and by Jewish groups in the U.S.
- “Philippines Humanitarian Aid”: Islamic Relief USA and sister organizations around the world are sending workers and raising funds to help the victims.
- “Philippine typhoon: ‘a call to action’ for global compassion”: This Baptist Press article tells about a rapid-assistance team dispatched by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and about funds sent by Baptist Global Response.
- “Typhoon Haiyan: Help The Philippines Survive and Recover”: Read highlights of Catholic Relief Services’ plans for assisting.
- “UMCOR relief money on way to Philippines”: Read about a $97,000 emergency aid grant announced by the United Methodist Committee on Relief. The article also notes that the Philippines’ three active United Methodist bishops and at least two retired ones are in North Carolina this week for the denomination’s Council of Bishops meeting.