The iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro lit up with the Lebanese flag on Thursday to honor the victims of this week’s devastating explosion in Beirut.
In a ceremony beside the statue, religious leaders remembered the 135 victims of the blast and offered prayers for the injured and those made homeless by the disaster.
The event was attended by Bishop George Khoury of the Greek Melkite Church – also known as Eastern Catholic Church – and the Lebanese consul in Rio, Dr. Alejandro Bitar.
“We hope our Lebanon can be again a place for peace, understanding and love,” said Bitar.
Bishop Khoury said a campaign was underway to raise funds to help rebuild the churches destroyed by the explosion.
Brazil is believed to have the world’s largest Lebanese community outside Lebanon itself, numbering some ten million people.
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