BRATISLAVA, Slovakia, MARCH 17, 2011 ( Catholics in Slovakia are joining their efforts to the international Church response to aid Japan.

The Slovak Catholic Charity has begun a public fundraising campaign to send funds to its partner organization, Caritas Japan.

"Although Japan is among the richest and most powerful countries in the world, we cannot remain indifferent," Radovan Gumulák, general secretary of Slovak Catholic Charity, said. He noted not only the enormous material damage, but also the emotional injury the people are suffering.

The president of Caritas Japan affirmed their gratitude for the assurance of prayers and solidarity. The organization is focusing on reconstruction efforts, as well as a rescue team that will coordinate humanitarian activities.

[Reporting by Mariana Šarpatakyová]