St Dimitrios Greek Orthodox Church in Achrafieh is less than a kilometer away from where the Beirut explosion took place.
Father Youil Nassif rushed to the church to check for damage, finding the nave completely ruined. But the sacred altar space, protected by the “iconostasis” (wall of icons), was almost unscathed – including an oil lamp that had remained lit throughout the blast.
You can call me naive but I felt it was unbelievable, I felt it was a message from God saying “I will be by you, I will be by your side”
I left the church with my children twelve minutes before the explosion.
We were heading home before it happened, so I reached home, I left my children and went back to the church to see what happened when I arrived I was shocked.
He explained that when he arrived, he watched the videos of the destruction inside the church, proceeded to the altar, and found out that the alter was untouched.
“I proceeded to the alter and I was” surprised, the Alter was untouched
“The glass was not even broken”, part of his speech says.
He noted that this is a sign, that the church needs prayers, not just his church but the Church as a whole, he wants everyone to pray.
“Please pray for us,” he said.