News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Italian Firefighters/AP
World News

Christians greatly concerned by avalanche, says Italy pastor

Video footage has emerged showing rescuers using shovels to dig through a wall of snow at the Hotel Rigopiano in Abruzzo after the avalanche which followed a series of earthquakes.

Rev Elizabeth Geddes from St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church of Scotland in Rome told Premier she felt the tremours in the Italian capital.

Italian Finance Police via AP

Giving her initial reaction to the avalanche, which struck on Wednesday, she said: "Members of our congregation live all around - they don't all live in central Rome. I have not heard yet that anybody is involved but there will be great concern."

Alpine rescue teams had been working through the night at the scene of the hotel, which is located approximately 30 miles away from the coastal city of Pescara.

It remains unclear whether the avalanche is linked to a series of earthquakes which struck the region on Wednesday, including one tremour with a 5.7 magnitude.

Matteo Guidelli/ANSA via AP

Rev Elizabeth went on to say: "The best type of prayer at this sort of time is to just perhaps close your eyes and imagine the scene. Then, just hold it in your mind and just ask God to be with whoever is in that scene."

Nearly 300 people were killed in a deadly quake which hit the region in August 2016, also destroying dozens of historic sites.

Rev Elizabeth added: "Our thoughts as a congregation have been very much with the people of the region ever since the earthquakes and great death toll in August."

Rick Pasquale, pastor at the International Christian Fellowship in Rome, told Premier that his congregation had been praying for the disaster-stricken region over the last year.

"Some of our Italian families are from that area and it's been hard hit. Over the last year there have been 78 earthquakes in that area. Our church has been praying that God can send the rescuers in when need and give safety to those affected," he said.

Click here to listen to Rev Elizabeth Geddes speaking with Premier's Alex Williams:

Click here to listen to Rick Pasquale, pastor at the International Christian Fellowship of Rome, speaking with Premier's Antony Bushfield:

A Monthly Gift Of $11 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 USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 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.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

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

News by email