Typhoon in the Philippines: People of faith respond

Devastation in Church

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.


Web resources

  • Alertnet: Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Alertnet.org posts articles about disaster response, refugee crises, disease and other pressing humanitarian issues.
  • 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

Relief efforts