On November 8, 2021, the Patriarchal Exarch of Western Europe, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for Foreign Institutions, Metropolitan Anthony of Korsun and Western Europe, visited the Lebanese city of Zahle, where the construction of an Orthodox church in honor of the icon of the Mother of God "Unintentional Joy" has begun.
The construction was initiated by the representative of the Patriarch of Antioch to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Metropolitan Niphon of Philippopolis.
"It is a pleasure for me to visit today the native land of the very beloved and respected Vladyka Niphon. His Eminence spent many decades in Moscow. In our capital, the icon of the Mother of God "Unintentional Joy" is especially revered. The love for this image of the Heavenly Queen and the love of Vladyka Niphon for Russia and the Russian Church led to the fact that today a temple of the same name is being built here. According to the project, the temple will combine the best features of Russian architecture. On behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, I would like to wish Vladyka Niphon God's help in the speedy realization of this good deed, this dream," Metropolitan Anthony commented on the project in an interview with the Telelumier channel.
A prayer service was held at the place where the temple is supposed to be built, after which a capsule with a commemorative certificate was laid. The prayer service was performed by Metropolitan Anthony of Korsun and Western Europe, the hierarchs of the Orthodox Church of Antioch, Metropolitan Niphon of Philippopolis and Metropolitan Anthony of Zahle and Baalbek. The archpastors were co-served by Archimandrite Seraphim (Shemyatovsky), representative of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia under the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Archimandrite Philip (Vasiltsev), rector of the Russian Orthodox Church in Beirut, and Archpriest Vladislav Tsypin, professor of the Moscow Theological Academy, Doctor of Theology.
The service was also attended by Archbishop of Zahle and Furzola Issam John Darvish (Melkite Catholic Church), Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Lebanon Alexander Rudakov, Executive Director of the Foundation for the Support of Christian Culture and Heritage Egor Skopenko.
The staff of the Foundation for the Support of Christian Culture and Heritage also inspected the diocesan school under construction for 600 people. After a dinner hosted by Metropolitan Niphon of Philippopolis for guests from Moscow who arrived for the celebrations on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church's compound in Beirut, Metropolitan Anthony of Korsun and Western Europe visited the Diocese of Zahle and Baalbek. The delegation visited the chapel and St. Nicholas Cathedral. A meeting with Bishop Anthony of Zahle and Baalbek took place at the metropolitan residence.
In 2020, with the blessing of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, the Foundation for the Support of Christian Culture and Heritage provided significant financial assistance in the restoration of the Church of the Great Martyr Demetrius in Ashrafiya (Beirut district), the college in the name of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos and the residence of the Metropolitan of Beirut. The buildings were seriously damaged due to an explosion in the Beirut seaport.
In addition, the Foundation supports an Orthodox school in Marjaayun, located in a zone of increased military tension, and provides assistance to the construction of an Orthodox church in the Russian style in Zahle.
During the visit of the delegation of the Foundation for the Support of Christian Culture and Heritage to Lebanon from November 6 to 9, as part of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church's compound in Beirut, a visit to the current facilities funded by the Foundation took place. Working meetings were held with Metropolitan Elijah of Beirut, Metropolitan Silouan of the Lebanese Mountains, Metropolitan Elijah of Tyre and Sidon and Metropolitan Niphon of Philippopolis, during the meetings plans for the implementation of future projects were discussed.