NEW HAVEN, Conn., Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Knights of Columbus has sent $250,000 for disaster relief to Lebanon in the wake of the devastating Beirut explosion.
"This is a great tragedy that merits the prayers and full attention of the world," said K of C Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "The calamity in Lebanon is a threat to the vital Christian community there and threatens the existence of Christianity throughout the Middle East. This desperate situation must be addressed."
The Knights' gift was conveyed through Bishop Gregory Mansour, who leads the Maronite Eparchy (diocese) of St. Maron of Brooklyn, NY. It will include: $125,000 for Caritas Lebanon; $50,000 to the St. Vincent de Paul Society; $50,000 for Telelumiere/Noursat Christian Television in the Middle East; and $25,000 for Sesobel, which serves special needs children and their families.
Bishop Mansour said the donations "mark the special charism of the Knights: to serve the poor, to lift up our special needs children, to communicate the saving message of Christ, and to remind the small and tireless Church now in Lebanon… that men of good will are near to them in their time of need."
The Knights' gift follows a donation by Pope Francis of 250,000 euros ($295,488) in aid as an expression "of his fatherly closeness to people in serious difficulty," a Vatican press release stated.
At least 178 people were killed and 6,000 were injured in a blast near Beirut's port on Aug. 4. The explosion caused extensive damage to the city and flattened buildings near the port. Some 300,000 people were left temporarily homeless.
Since 2014, the Knights of Columbus has spent more than $25 million on behalf of persecuted Christians and other religious minorities targeted for elimination in the Middle East. The support has funded rebuilding – and saving – the town of Karamles, Iraq, after its liberation from ISIS; fed tens of thousands of displaced people; provided short-term and long-term housing for the displaced; and supported educational, medical and other programs for those targeted by ISIS.
The Knights of Columbus is one of the world's leading fraternal and service organizations with 2 million members in more than a dozen countries. During the past year, Knights around the world donated $187 million for worthy causes in their communities. In recent months, that charity has been focused on the coronavirus pandemic via food banks, blood drives and the Knights' community focused "No Neighbor Left Behind" program.
About the Knights of Columbus
In addition to its charitable efforts, the Knights of Columbus also provides financial services to groups and individuals, resulting in more than $112 billion of life insurance in force, and through its money management firm, Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors, it invests in accord with Catholic social teachings. From helping children in need, to providing wheelchairs for the disabled, to helping stock food banks, to offering top-rated and affordable insurance products to its members, the Knights of Columbus has supported families and communities for more than 138 years.
SOURCE Knights of Columbus