By World Watch Monitor.
Editor’s note: As aid organizations struggle to reach Nepal residents reeling from an earthquake 16 times more powerful than Haiti’s 2010 disaster, evangelical groups including World Vision, Convoy of Hope, and Samaritan’s Purse are racing to help survivors as aftershocks continue.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck at 11:56 a.m. Saturday, when many Nepalese churches were still conducting their weekly worship services.
“Many Christians were buried while they were worshiping on Sabbath and died,” the president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nepal, Umesh Pokharel, told Adventist Review.
AsiaNews reports that a Protestant church in the outskirts of the capital city, Kathmandu, collapsed and killed 70 worshipers. Global Mission Nepal identifies the church as Nepali Evangelical Church in Kapan, and put the death toll at 80.
A Brethren in Christ Church worker in Nepal reports:
Saturday is the worship day in Nepal and most churches have worship time between 10.00 AM to 12.30 PM. Terrifying earthquake came just in the last part of the worship hour at 11:56 Nepali time and most believers ran out from the church to save their lives, some got injured badly while running out, some trapped under building whereas other were buried alive in the church building as it collapsed. Although unclear some have reported 100 believers of a church in Kathmandu were worshipping on the 7th floor rented building was completely collapsed, some 40 dead bodies were taken out whereas other still missing. It was a great lose and misery day in the history of Nepal.
Gospel for Asia told Mission Network News that it expects similar stories to emerge. Assemblies of God World Missions reports that “three AG churches … are totally destroyed and several lives lost.”