It’s official. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa an international public-health emergency. Stopping the global spread of this deadly—and generally fatal—virus will demand a swift, mass response.
“Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own,” WHO Chief Dr. Margaret Chan said at a news conference in Geneva, according to an Associated Press report. “I urge the international community to provide this support on the most urgent basis possible.”
Over 900 people in West Africa have died—and those are only the ones we know about. Ebola experts are warning of an African apocalypse in the face of an unprecedented outbreak that has left hundreds lying dead in the streets, The Daily Beast reports.
“The disease is uncontained and out of control, the international response has been a failure,” Ken Isaacs, vice president of Program and Government Relations for Samaritan’s Purse, told The Daily Beast. He thinks the reported number of infections and deaths “represent just 25 to 50 percent of what is happening.”
Dr. Heinz Feldmann, chief of virology at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, told the AP that the “situation is very critical and different from what we’ve seen before. There are so many locations with transmission popping up, and we just need more people on the ground.”
Prophets Claiming God Sent a ‘Plague’
Now, Liberia’s church leaders are claiming the deadly outbreak is a plague God has sent to punish the nation for “immoral acts” such as homosexuality. Liberia’s Daily Observer reports that more than 100 bishops, pastors, general overseers, prophets, evangelists and other ministers of the gospel who are part of the Liberia Council of Churches have resolved:
“God is angry with Liberia, and that Ebola is a plague. Liberians have to pray and seek God’s forgiveness over the corruption and immoral acts (such as homosexualism, etc.) that continue to penetrate our society. As Christians, we must repent and seek God’s forgiveness.”
Are Liberia’s prophets and pastors right? Is the Ebola outbreak God’s judgment on the nation for immoral acts? And, if so, shouldn’t we expect it to spread to the doorsteps of Europe, Asia and America, whose citizens are practicing many of the same immoral sins? Or is this just one small piece of the bigger end-times picture? Consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 24 in context to the age:
“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor of Charisma. She is also director of IHOP Fort Lauderdale and author of several books, including The Making of a Prophet and The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at [email protected] or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.