Rio's Christ lit up to honour victims in Beirut
The iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro lit up with the Lebanese flag on Thursday to honour 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.World pays tribute
World monuments across the world lit up in memory of the victims of the Beirut explosion.
On Tuesday evening, the Great Pyramid of Giza lit up with a projection of the Lebanese flag on the ancient Egyptian structure.
In the UAE, the Lebanese triband flag illuminated the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
On Twitter, the Burj Khalifa's official account posted a picture of the world's tallest building with its tribute to the victims of the blast, with the caption: "In solidarity with our brothers and sisters in #Lebanon."
Paris' Eiffel Tower is expected to be illuminated with the colours of the Lebanese flag in an act of solidarity.
The second blast sent an enormous orange fireball into the sky, flattened the harbourside and drove a tornado-like shockwave through the city, shattering windows kilometres away.
Bloodied and dazed people stumbled among the debris, glass shards and burning buildings in the immediate aftermath of the blasts. A day later, search and rescue teams continue to seek out more than 100 people who are still missing.
Condolences poured in from across the world with Gulf nations, the US and even Lebanon's arch foe Israel offering to send aid.
The explosions hit a country already reeling from its worst economic crisis in decades which has left nearly half of the population in poverty, as well as from the coronavirus pandemic.