News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Lebanon Beirut explosion banner.jpg
Photo Credit: Aid to the Church in Need
Photo Credit: Aid to the Church in Need
World News

Lebanese cardinal insists church has 'duty' to help Beirut after devastating blast

A prominent Lebanese cardinal has insisted that the church has a "duty" to help Beirut's citizens following this week's deadly blast that has claimed the lives of at least 157 people. 

In a statement, Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch said: “Beirut is a devastated city. A catastrophe struck there because of the mysterious explosion which occurred in its port."

Authorities believe that the explosion was caused by a shipment of the fertilizer ammonium nitrate which had been stored at Beirut's dock after being confiscated from a passing cargo ship. 

Thousands were injured in the blast, with the powerful shockwave blowing out windows, destroying buildings and damaging infrastructure across the city. Christians, are responding to the immediate need - but they need more help from outside organisations. "The Church, which has set up a relief network throughout Lebanese territory, today finds itself faced with a new great duty which it is unable to assume on its own," Rai added. 

“[The Church stands] in solidarity with the afflicted, the families of the victims, the wounded, and the displaced that it is ready to welcome in its institutions." 

Shortly after the blast, Christian aid organisation Samaritan's Purse announced it would be sending a team of humanitarian relief specialists to the city. "Working with a longtime church partner in the area, we are evaluating how we can best serve, potentially in the areas of emergency food, shelter, and medical care," the group said in an announcement. 

"The country and the people are devastated,” added Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham. “Please pray for the families who lost loved ones and those who have been most impacted by this horrible incident.”

Speaking to Premier earlier this week, one pastor in Beirut said he was grateful to God that no one was in his church building at the time of the blast, as the premises was obliterated by the explosion's shockwave.

"I thank God no one was here because if it would be anyone here they would be dead because the windows flew from the side, from one wall to another wall, and took everything in between - the curtains, the air conditioning, the tables, the computers, the televisions," said Said Deeb of the 'Life Center' in Beirut. 

"The church [is] without curtains, without windows, without doors. The cameras fell down, broke the TV screens - some of them still working - four or five big screens broke. The apartment of the church is without gates, without windows. You see holes in the wall, big holes but no metal, no aluminium, nothing. All the frames were removed." 

 

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

Connect

Donate

Donate