Members of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are determined to rebuild their church, located 500 feet from ground zero, after it was buried under steel girders and concrete in last week's terrorist attack.

One parishioner was in the building during the attack but escaped. "It would break your heart," Father John Romas said of the destruction. "It's one thing to see it on TV, and another thing to see it in person."

The church building was constructed in 1832. Greek immigrants established the church in 1916.

Archdiocese spokesman Nikki Stephanopoulos says that in its early days, the building was a place of worship for sailors and other travelers after their ships docked along the coast. In the last 20 years, it has been described as a reminder of faith and spirituality in the city as church members resisted attempts by developers to buy the property. The church, which has about 50 members, had been opening its doors to the community for prayer and contemplation during Wednesday lunch breaks.

Romas is hoping to retrieve several of the icons given to the church by Czar Nicholas II of Russia and relics of St. Nicholas, St. Katherine, and St. Sava that were kept in an ossuary on the top floor of the four-story building. Stephanopoulos says the church has permission to recover the relics, but several weeks may pass before construction workers are available to begin clearing the debris.

The church has received condolences from around the world, and donations from Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christians.

Stephanopoulos says that although the church will probably rebuild within the next 5 to 10 years, "right now, our major concern is elsewhere." The archdiocese is providing relief and counseling for those affected by the attacks.

Related Elsewhere

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America put out a news release on the church's destruction. The archdiocese Web site also has a photo of the church's shadow falling on the World Trade Center prior to the attack.

Christianity Today's other articles on the attacks include:

With Grief and Anger, the U.S. Mourns Its Losses | A week of official services and impromtu demonstrations follows shocking attacks. (Sept. 18, 2001)

Fire Department Chaplain Dies in the Line of Duty | 'Father Mike' is remembered for compassion and always being first on the scene. (Sept. 18, 2001)

Churches Meet Needs at Ground Zero | Brooklyn pastors and parishioners thank God for survival, but help victims and families cope. (Sept. 17, 2001)

Books & Culture Corner: The Imagination of Disaster | "We thought we were invulnerable." Really? (Sept. 17, 2001)

Church Mourns 'Father Frank' | Fond memories comfort those who knew retired priest killed in World Trade Center attack. ? (Sept. 17, 2001)

Taking It Personally | What do we do with all this anger? (Sept. 14, 2001)

'Is That Thunder?' | With metal cracking at the World Trade Center, New York pastors cry out to God. (Sept. 14, 2001)

Shaken Christians Turn to Prayer | Impromptu services usher in the bereaved by word of mouth, road signs, and e-mail. (Sept. 13, 2001)

Christians Provide Comfort in the Shadow of Calamity | Still "stunned and reeling," New Yorkers seek support at prayer service. (Sept. 13, 2001)

Illinois Pastor on Fatal Flight | Jeffrey Mladenik, 43, was involved in workplace ministry, international adoption. (Sept. 13, 2001)

Communication Troubles Challenge U.S. Church Relief Agencies | Aid work continues amid atmosphere of shock, fear, and sporatic harrassment. (Sept. 13, 2001)

Reflections on Suffering | Classic and contemporary quotations for dark times. (Sept. 13, 2001)

When Sin Reigns | An event like this shows us what humans are capable of becoming—both as children of darkness and of light. (Sept. 13, 2001)

In the Belly of the Beast | Christians, calling terrorist attack "satanically brilliant," minister at epicenter of World Trade disaster. (Sept. 12, 2001)

Churches, Agencies Respond to Attacks | Leaders call for prayer, justice, and mercy. (Sept. 12, 2001)

Muslims Fear a Backlash | No matter who is responsible, observers feel a reaction will still be present. (Sept. 12, 2001)

A Wake-Up Call to Become Global Christians | The deadly attacks on America will provoke many responses, but Christians are commanded to love our neighbors. (Sept. 12, 2001)

Nation's Religious Leaders Urge Calm, Pray for Peace | Churches will maintain prayer vigils for victims and leaders. (Sept. 11, 2001)

Church Leaders Around World Deplore 'Unspeakable Horror' of Attack | Christians urged to unite in prayer as they unite in shock and denunciation. (Sept. 11, 2001)

Experts Say Spiritual Roots Will Aid in Coping With Catastrophe | Pray and connect with others, advise nation's chaplains. (Sept. 11, 2001)

Fear and Hate | In times like this, as in all other times, Christians have a responsibility to love above all else. (Sept. 11, 2001)

God's Message in the Language of Events | In the face of evil, we must focus on keeping our hearts right. (Sept. 11, 2001)
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For in-depth and continuing coverage, see The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC, CNN, and Yahoo full coverage.

Yahoo has also compiled aid organization contact information, closure notification, and survivor lists.

For more Christian perspectives and responses, see various articles posted on,, and

The Text This Week, a resource for pastors, has collected sermons and reflections in response to the Sept. 11 events.

The BBC,, The Village Voice, and USA Today have photo essays of the destruction.

For video or audio coverage, see CNN, ABC News,and Sky News. The Washington Post is running a live Web cam of the Pentagon building.

The Washington Post has a list of tenants of the World Trade Center and a graphic depicting the attack.

Yahoo has also compiled aid organization contact information, closure notification, and survivor lists.

President Bush addressed the nation on the evening of Sept. 11 (video | transcript). He declared Sept. 14, 2001 a national day of prayer. Bush first learned of the World Trade Center tragedy while preparing to speak to schoolchildren in Sarasota, Fla.. There, he asked Amercians for a moment of silence for the victims.

The Pope and Billy Graham have spoke out on the tragedy and sent out prayers to the victims and their families.

The BBC has compiled reactions from world leaders (with video). explained who responds to crisis situations.