Beirut’s All Saints Church turns attention to its neighbors in need

American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
Posted Aug 25, 2020

Photo shows damage to an All Saints’ parishioner’s home following the Aug. 4 explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. Photo: AFEDJ

In the three weeks since the horrific explosion that left more than 300,000 residents of Beirut homeless and affected more than 778,000 people within a two-mile radius of the blast, the generous response to Archbishop Suheil Dawani’s call for donations through American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ) has made a difference to those in need of humanitarian support.

Archdeacon Imad Zoorab, vicar of All Saints Episcopal Church located just a mile from the blast, wrote to AFEDJ last week, “Amid all the suffering our beloved Lebanon is facing on the economic level, the crisis of the port explosion has made it worse with many homeless and without any roof over their heads. Our church is part of this devastated society, with those in both the Arabic and English-speaking congregations having suffered physically, financially, and psychologically. Thank God no one among our church family was made homeless. Those with damage to their homes were able to cope and stay in the undamaged part of their houses.”

Listen to Fr. Imad tell the story of how one All Saints family was affected by the disaster at

According to Fr. Imad, homeless families are living in shelters provided by various United Nations’ agencies, the Lebanese Red Crescent/Cross, or staying with friends and families who have offered their houses to receive homeless families.

In the days since the explosion, Fr. Imad and leaders of the two All Saints congregations have worked to ensure the well-being and safety of members of the church community. They now turn their attention to partnering with other churches to meet the needs of their most vulnerable neighbors affected by the blast.

Funds donated through AFEDJ are being used to obtain much-needed food packets, hygiene kits, and PPE for distribution through All Saints and its partner churches to people across Beirut.

He writes, “As a vicar and pastor of All Saints, I’m thankful for God’s grace and mercies, and so grateful for each church, bishop, priest, lay person, and for everyone who has stood by us here in Lebanon through your prayers and your financial support. May God bless each and every one of you for your faithfulness. In all of this, we pray and remember, ‘Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through him who loved us.’”

Contributions to the Archbishop’s Beirut Emergency Fund through AFEDJ’s secure online giving channel may be made at or by check to AFEDJ, 25 Old Kings Highway North, Suite 13, Darien, CT 06820.

Founded in 1988 by Episcopal leaders in the U.S. and the Diocese of Jerusalem, American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem is a nonpolitical, nonsectarian 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising financial support for schools, hospitals, and centers for children with disabilities in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon that are owned and operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. Its mission is to transform lives of vulnerable and displaced people in the region. Learn more about the work of AFEDJ at