August 6, 2020

Several Adventist Schools and Churches Damaged After Blast Rocks Beirut

Middle East and North Africa Union Mission/Adventist News Network, and Adventist Review

At least 100 people are dead, an unknown number missing, thousands injured, and buildings destroyed after a massive explosion hit Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4, 2020.

According to press reports, the blast was felt as far away as Cyprus, more than 150 miles (240 kilometers) away, and registered as a 3.3 earthquake in Beirut. Initial reports seem to blame the blast on a fire at a warehouse.

The Middle East and North African Union Mission (MENA) reported that its staff has been accounted for and is safe. Two church buildings, Middle East University buildings, two high schools, and a learning center for refugee children suffered damage from the blast.

In an email, MENA president Rick McEdward wrote, “Our hearts go out to the people of Lebanon, who have already experienced much hardship over the last few months. We are committed to helping do what we can to bring hope to people during this time of difficulty.”

Damage to the Boucherieh Adventist church in Beirut, Lebanon, after an explosion in Beirut’s port section on August 4, 2020. [Photo: Rick McEdward, Middle East and North African Union Mission]

Adventist Church president Ted N. C. Wilson also asked for members to remember those in Lebanon in their prayers.

“I have prayed for our church members in Lebanon and for the country,” Wilson wrote. “It is a tragedy that has happened on top of the many challenges they already face. Having grown up in the Middle East and having lived for some months in Beirut, Lebanon, my heart is heavy for the people of that country and their situation. Please lift up the precious people of Lebanon in prayer that God will help them in time of need and that our church will be able to assist people as Christ did and more readily share Christ, His righteousness, His three angels’ messages, and His soon second coming.”

MENA is still assessing damages to Adventist Church property. This is an unfolding story, and more information will be added as it is made available.

The original version of this story was posted by the Adventist News Network.