Lebanon (MNN) — New research says the Beirut Explosion on August 4th was one of the largest non-nuclear manmade explosions in history. The blast yielded a force similar to 500 tons of TNT, or one-twentieth the strength of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
The blast shattered windows throughout the city, leaving thousands injured and 300,000 homeless. Read more about the strength of the blast here.
Many residents of Beirut, rather than trying to rebuild, want to leave the city. Peter* from Cry Out Now says with windows blown out of houses and winter rains coming, it only makes it harder for people to stay. “The houses have not been destroyed, but they’re hardly livable.”
But the explosion isn’t the only reason people are leaving, According to Peter. “This is the last straw. Lebanon for many years has gone through lots of different conflicts. It’s one of the most amazingly open places for the Gospel in the whole Middle East. There’s total freedom for churches and everything else. But it’s the last straw with the economy and the whole government in break-down.”
Peter says this evacuation will only make things worse, as some of the city’s most capable professionals depart for other places.
The Gospel is spreading in Lebanon, despite all of the hardship taking place. People are connecting with the Gospel through the internet, and Peter says many Syrian refugees in the country have come to faith as churches have been ministering to them.
He says, “It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times. Everything is being shaken. Where is our hope? What is really true? The opportunities for ministry are huge.”
Pray for the ongoing ministry in Beirut and that many will find true hope in Jesus Christ. And pray the economic suffering would abate and the Lebanese government would serve the people as it is supposed to.
*Name changed for security reasons
The header photo shows the aftermath of the Beirut explosion. (Photo by rashid khreiss on Unsplash)