24 February 2014
Are Christians better neighbours only during storms, floods and disasters?
Photo credit: Maccoinnich via Creative Commons
When the recent storms and floods ravaged sections of the south-west of the UK, Christians sprung into action, without giving it a second thought, helping people across their communities. But the Evangelical Alliance is asking whether this neighbourly behaviour is normal or an act of 'emergency' Christianity?
Alliance members, in affected areas, reported that churches opened their doors either as emergency shelters or as work and rest hubs for emergency services while some families welcomed total strangers into their homes. Others volunteered to fill and distribute sandbags, donate clothing, prepare and deliver hot food, clean-up or walk dogs and almost every Christian opened their purses, jointly giving more than £5,000 in some communities to help the displaced.
It was an act of faith in action in the community which was well received by those affected and has since developed into a friendship with some asking for more information about the Christian faith.
While it is a natural thing to be good neighbours during disasters, do Christians find it difficult to be neighbourly in good times? And if so, why?
It's one of the big questions arising from the Evangelical Alliance's latest survey of evangelical Christians, Who is my neighbour?
Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance said while neighbourliness is natural during an emergency it should be something that separates the Christian from non-Christian all year long.
"Every survey we do seeks to provide a snapshot of Christian life in order to support church leaders in mission. This survey is important because it explores how Christians are engaging with those around us – is it as full time evangelicals, because we are compelled by the gospel to speak and act, or are we only part-time neighbours?" he added.
The survey, which closes on March 3, can be taken online at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/whoismyneighbourfeb2014.
Tel: 07766 444 650
Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org