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Christians in China and around the world prayed and sent relief for those affected by the magnitude 7.1 earthquake in the Qinghai Province of China. More than 1,700 people have died since the earthquake hit on Wednesday.

The Sichuan Christian Council designated Sunday as a day of prayer, and thousands of people from the nearby province got together to pray and offered donations for those affected by the quake. Sichuan, which borders the affected Qinghai Province, was hit by an even more powerful earthquake in 2008.

According to official reports, 256 people were still missing as of Sunday in Qinghai and 1,424 of those injured were in severe condition.

Other Christian groups working relief on the ground in the province included World Vision and the Amity Foundation, which is a partner of the Sichuan Christian Council.

"Based on what we learn on the ground, we will be moving quickly to meet the needs of children, particularly to help them establish a normal routine again and stay clear of dangerous rubble," said Meimei Leung, who is leading World Vision’s assessment team.

According to Lueng, adequate shelter and warm clothing for children and families is a key concern, as average temperatures in the area have been hovering between 27 and 57 degrees. [news.xinhuanet.com, 4/18/10; worldvision.org, 4/14/10]

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