Baptist World Alliance
Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications
Neville Callam, General Secretary
Phone: +1 703 790 8980
Fax: +1 703 893 5160

September 15, 2010
For Immediate Release
Churches damaged in New Zealand quake
Washington (BWA) A number of Baptist churches were damaged in an earthquake that affected the South Pacific nation of New Zealand in the early morning of September 4.

Despite being a powerful temblor measuring 7.1, a similar strength as the earthquake that devastated Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince on January 12, killing several hundred thousand people, the New Zealand earthquake did not result in loss of life. 

Buildings and other structures were severely affected, including churches, and there were widespread power outages. "Several of our churches are very badly damaged and one will have to be demolished," said Rodney Macann, national leader of the Baptist Union of New Zealand.

Macann informed the Baptist World Alliance that the churches were fully insured. "Money is not the greatest need, rather prayer for people to deal with the trauma as the aftershocks continue and many have had their normal living patterns disrupted." The aftershocks, he reported, are expected to continue for several months.

There are approximately 30 Baptist churches in the area close to the epicenter of the quake near Christchurch, New Zealand's second largest urban area. Members of these churches have been offering assistance to those affected."A number of our churches have responded magnificently to community needs," said Macann.