Chinese Church Bodies Rally Prayers for Landslide Victims

The Three-Self Movement of the Protestant Churches in China (TSPM) and the China Christian Council (CCC) are rallying prayers for the victims of the recent deadly landslides in northwestern China.

Christians from throughout Mainland China, meanwhile, have posted prayers on forums and blogs in hopes that rescue and post-disaster reconstruction efforts in the affected areas will go smoothly.

"Pray for the victims of the Zhouqu mudslide," announced TSPM/CCC in their prayer request.

"Ask God to have mercy towards that land that the residents living there," added the two bodies, which together organize the state-registered Protestant churches in China.

As of late Wednesday, the official death toll from the massive flood-triggered landslides was 1,117 and hundreds of homes in the Gansu province's Zhouqu district were reported buried.

The official Xinhua News Agency said 630 people were still missing, but hopes of more rescues were fading as the last two reported survivors were found Wednesday. Government officials say the scale of the disaster has made counting the dead all the more difficult, noting that whole households have died.

Meanwhile, at least 45,000 people have evacuated their homes as entire communities in Zhouqu were swallowed up. But it wasn't clear how many are in need of emergency shelter.

Zhouqu is home to some 134,000 people.