Pentecostals Mobilize Globally in Order to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19
Pentecostals all over the world are now mobilizing in order to spread information about COVID-19 in areas where people have limited access to reliable news sources. Through the Pentecostal global network, by means of local churches and radio stations, it is possible to reach out with information to more than 100 million church members.
As many high-income countries have worked hard to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus has also hit hard towards low-income countries. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), “Countries already in crisis because of conflicts, natural disasters, and climate change are most at risk.” In many countries, the infrastructure for communication is insufficient. In addition to the fact that people within one country speak many different local languages making it difficult for the authorities to get correct information out to all citizens, authorities in some of these countries are already facing challenges in reaching marginalized groups with social support. Therefore, the Church has an important role to play.
The Pentecostal World Fellowship (PWF) is an association of Pentecostal fellowships, denominations, churches and pastors worldwide. Currently, the PWF unites 62 representative churches and organizations from 33 countries who share in the goal of “uniting and mobilizing the global Spirit-filled family in completing the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.” The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada is a member of PWF and shares its World Mission Commission. The PAOC’s relief and development agency, ERDO, is helping share information about how the Church can respond.
Through the PWF, the Church is uniting to mobilize society to stop the spread of COVID-19. “It’s critical for the Church to help share fact-based information at this time, and to play a central role in local communities of the global south,” says David Adcock, CEO of ERDO.
As a complement to information provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and national authorities, the PWF has developed informational material with recommendations to churches, pastors and development workers. The material is currently being spread by Pentecostal movements in roughly 100 different countries, as well as by mission organizations and through the partner networks of 11 Pentecostal development organizations. The purpose of the material is to encourage local churches to communicate accurate information in these times of crisis.