On Wednesday, August 24, 2016, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit Italy 65 miles north-east of Rome leaving hundreds confirmed dead and thousands injured. Aftershocks continued to hit the region making rescue and relief efforts difficult.

Did you know there is a Lutheran Church in Italy? The Chiesa Evangelica Luterana in Italia (The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy) is made up of about 7,000 members and is a fellow member of the Lutheran World Federation.

As a sign of solidarity, the ELCA, through Lutheran Disaster Response, sent a gift of $10,000 for the emergency relief efforts. The funds were directed through the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI) who have been lending its facilities and its own technical resources during this tragedy.

Upon receiving this news, of our gift, Heiner Bludau, Dean of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy and Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Turin, shared his gratitude, not only for the gift but for our concern and prayers.

“Thank you very much, this is a very concrete aid for the people in need! Please forward my deeply felt gratitude for this expression of solidarity in prayer but also in money to the responsible of the ELCA. The words of your prayer and the consciousness that in the United States in your congregations in this way you pray for us in Italy is a great comfort. And the money is a direct help for those who have lost everything. This is one of the ways in which God helps: Through you and me and those who realize first aid with the grant you approved.  God bless you, dear brothers and sisters!”

– Heiner Bludau, Dean of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy

Let us continue to hold the survivors of this earthquake in our prayers as rescue efforts continue.

Be a part of the response:


Continue to pray for displaced persons around the world, may God’s healing presence comfort them in their time of need.


Thanks to generous, undesignated donations, we are able to respond quickly to these kinds of crises. Your gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response will be used where there is the greatest need.


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