TEHRAN, IRAN (ANS) — As Iran has been suffering widespread and devastating flooding, Christians in different parts of the country have been responding, helping to provide food, clothing and other basic necessities for those affected, said Elam Ministries, which works in the region.
According to Wikipedia, citing several news sources, from mid-March to April 2019, widespread flash flooding affected large parts of Iran, most severely in Golestan, Fars, Khuzestan, Lorestan, and other provinces. Iran has been hit by three major waves of rain and flooding over the course of two weeks which led to flooding in at least 26 of Iran’s 31 provinces and at least 70 people died nationwide as of April 6, according to the officials.
Wikipedia stated that several large dams have been overflowed, particularly in Khuzestan and Golestan, therefore many villages and several cities have been evacuated. About 1,900 cities and villages across country have been damaged by severe floods as well as hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to water and agriculture infrastructure. 78 roads were blocked and the reliability of 84 bridges was questioned.
According to the Wikipedia entry, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority, on the order of country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, sent 32 tonnes of relief goods to Iran. The consignment comprising two shipments contained 500 tents, 3,300 blankets and emergency medical kits. The relief goods were transferred using two C-130 aircraft. Previously Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson, Dr. Muhammad Faisal, condoled with the families of the victim. The spokesperson further claimed that Pakistan is ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Iran in rescue effort. He claimed that people of Pakistan stand in solidarity with Iranian people in their difficult time.
The New York Times reported that aid groups are warning that the situation could get worse if the rains continue. Train lines have been washed away and neighborhoods been submerged. Footage posted to social media showed raging floodwater sweeping cars from roadways and rivers bursting their banks, filled with muddy debris.
Two weeks after the flooding began — and days after the exchange of recrimination — international aid has begun to arrive in the country, the New York Times stated.
The New York Times article said the German Red Cross sent 40 inflatable boats and other rescue equipment. Several tons of food, water pumps and medicine have arrived from Kuwait, according to IRNA, Iran’s state-run news service.
The newspaper went on to say that while evacuations and aid distribution continue, more rainfall is expected in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, which borders Iraq. That could complicate the efforts. Six towns there were being evacuated in anticipation of the rainfall, IRNA reported.
“The floods have crippled our country,” said one of the Back To Jerusalem (BTJ) workers named Raj (not his real name) inside of the country in an update posted to its website.
“This isn’t just one flood. This flood is hitting us everywhere! 20 of our 31 provinces have disastrous flash floods devastating two-thirds of our entire nation. And the government is only making it worse,” Raj said.
BTJ said everything in the pathway of this flood has been destroyed.
“These floods could NOT have come at a worse time,” Raj reported. “The economy of Iran is in shambles and has been crippled by the increase of sanctions [by the United States]. “Added to that, most Iranian government officials have been away on holiday for Nowruz – the Iranian new year.”
Raj is concerned because shortly after the floods began, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Islamic Leader Ali Khamenei declared that all charity efforts to help in this crisis would be banned. Only the Islamic regime would be allowed to help the victims.
However, BTJ said the people hurting in the floods saw that the government officials – though banning charities – did not leave their vacation. Many Iranians have taken to social media posting hashtag related messages asking “Where is Rouhani?”
Iranians have been calling for Rouhani’s immediate resignation. “Mr. Rouhani, you better submit your resignation wherever you are” – read one bold posting. “Your appearance will only open up people’s wounds” – read another posting.
“If there is any way that we can help them let’s please do it,” said another BTJ worker named Darmud (not his real name). “I am feeling that this is a call from heaven for the nations here. The Father has led us to the people here and we have made a base here. Now there is a calling from three people groups found in Acts 2:9.”
BTJ said now is the time to help the people that have been hit by the flood. “The government is not helping. The traditional charity organizations do not have a legal route to provide aid. Only the Christians with the underground house church have a way to help.”
BTJ has also posted a special podcast to share in detail why the government does NOT want third party charities to participate in the flood relief efforts. There you will learn what is scaring the leaders of Iran more than anything else.
To listen to that podcast click here:
You can join these efforts right now and help BTJ workers provide clean water, food, clothing and shelter to the flood victims of Iraq by clicking here:
Elam Ministries said: “76 have now been reported dead with many people still missing. Hundreds of thousands remain displaced and grieving. The damage caused is reportedly the worst from any natural disaster in Iran in the last century.
“Please continue to pray: although the story is no longer in the headlines, the nation is still in the midst of a catastrophe. Please continue to pray for Iranians at this traumatic time, and for the Christians and others who are responding.”