Pakistan Churches Struggle Amid Duel Plagues: Locusts, and Coronavirus

Locusts munch their way across Pakistan, destroying crops and livelihoods as they go. Last week, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) reported swarms in nearly one-third of the country’s districts.

“This locust swarm is one of the biggest they’ve had in more than 30 years. Because of the COVID crisis, it hasn’t hit the news so much, but it is really severe,” says Jonathan*, a Christian worker focused on Pakistan.

These pests inflict serious economic damage.  Agriculture accounts for 20 percent of Pakistan’s GDP, and 65 percent of the population lives and works in farming communities, The Guardian reports. Pakistani believers find themselves in a doubly-difficult situation.

Difficulties double

Many Christians in southern Pakistan work as sharecroppers, Jonathan says. They pay for everything needed to plant and grow crops and then receive half of the overall profit at harvest time.

“What happens though…when the locusts come through, they destroy absolutely everything. So, these people have gone into debt to pay for all those inputs, and now there’s no crop. They don’t eat if there’s no crop,” Jonathan says.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth

ALL TO ACTION

  • Pray Pakistani believers and church leaders will have perseverance. Pray they can trust in God to bring them through these difficult times.
  • Pray for needed relief and support from the global Church.