Date: August 2, 2021
Christians in Lebanon are requesting prayer as the country still struggles to recover a year after the Beirut Port explosion which killed at least 218 and injured more than 6,000.
The aftermath of the explosion exacerbated the economic crisis and hyperinflation, as well as the impact of Covid-19, which had already led to many being unable to buy food or medicine.
On 4 August 2020 around 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in a Beirut warehouse was ignited, causing a devastating blast which demolished thousands of homes, completely destroyed three hospitals, and damaged homes as far as six miles (ten km) away. Several Christian neighbourhoods, near to the port, were severely affected.
The site of the explosion in August 2020 and again in June 2021. The tall building is a grain silo, severely damaged by the blast. No remains can be seen of the warehouse beside it which exploded
A year on thousands of the 300,000 people who lost their homes are still homeless and only 50% of buildings damaged or destroyed have been repaired. The country is still ravaged by hunger, sickness and suffering, as inflation spirals out of control, the currency devalues, wages become worthless and many are completely without work.
“We ask for your constant prayer for our country so the Lord may give us peace and comfort and hope for the future,” Ms Trivina Kassis, a Lebanese Christian, had said the day after the explosion.
“Your prayer brings hope to every single individual in Lebanon to continue and to rise above the crisis we are in,” continued Ms Kassis. “The Lord says, ‘The righteous will flourish like a palm tree and will grow like a cedar in Lebanon’.” (Psalm 92:12)
Those prayers are still needed one year on.
“One year later, as difficulties are still piling up and it becomes harder to go on, it is our faith in the Lord of life which carries us through,” said Rima Nasrallah van Saane of the National Evangelical Church of Beirut earlier this week.
“[Our faith] carries us to care and to share, to serve and to build and to work tirelessly towards justice and truth, so that the life of Christ may be revealed in the midst of death.”