The terrible explosion which took place in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, on Tuesday this week has stimulated fraternal concern for the people who suffered such a major tragedy. Not only were there a large number of victims who lost their lives but also a considerable number of people have undergone serious injuries and their homes have been destroyed, causing them to face serious health and employment issues at a time when the world is already struggling with the coronovirus pandemic.
Abba Seraphim has encouraged clergy and faithful of the British Orthodox Church to uphold the people of Beirut in their prayers. More than 40% of the population of the Lebanon are Christians and include among them both Eastern and Oriental (Armenian, Syrian & Coptic) Orthodox faithful, as well as a number of Eastern Rite Catholics (Maronites, Melkites and Chaldeans). The Red Cross Beirut Emergency Appeal is a charity well deserving of support and the message of condolence sent by our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth, as well as the United Kingdom’s readiness to send medical experts and humanitarian aid to Lebanon following the deadly explosion in Beirut as well as a five million pound aid package, are to be highly commended. Equally the personal visit by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, actively demonstrating concern for the city’s inhabitants, is to be extolled, as is his promise to sponsor a conference of European, American, Middle Eastern and other donors to raise money for food, medicine, housing and other urgent aid.