Hurricane Irma destroys churches in Caribbean islands

Hurricane Irma has destroyed and flattened Christian churches in the Caribbean islands as it crossed the region and made its way to Florida last week, according to Evangelical Association of the Caribbean secretary general Emerson Boyce.

(Netherlands Ministry of Defense / via REUTERS)The aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Saint Martin island in the Caribbean. September 8, 2017.

In Antigua and Barbuda, at least four churches were destroyed by Hurricane Irma, said Boyce. The EAC official, who is based in Trinidad and Tobago, added that the Category 5 hurricane also razed a dozen churches on St. Martin, Christianity Today relayed.

Richard Branson, who owns two islands in the British Virgin Islands, said Hurricane Irma had blown off the roofs of some churches which served as shelter for the storm's victims. According to CNN, at least 44 people in the Caribbean died because of the storm.

Despite the damage and destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, Boyce is still thankful that Christian presence is maintained in the Caribbean islands. More than 75 percent of the Caribbean islands' population is made up of Christians.

"I want to thank God. Despite all that's happening globally, there is still a Christian presence in the Caribbean," Boyce told CT.

Another storm called Hurricane Jose is already forming in the Atlantic, but it now appears to be widening its distance from the islands that Irma had already touched down on. Boyce said they are praying that the new storm "decides to die" because they not know if they can take on another hurricane.

Meanwhile, the Tobago House of Assembly announced that it is taking the lead in relief efforts for Hurricane Irma victims in the Caribbean islands. The group is asking local residents to donate food, clothes, financial aid, and other relief items to the Tobago Emergency Management Agency, Newsday reported.

The islands in the Caribbean impacted by Hurricane Irma include Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Bart's, the British and U.S. Virigin Islands, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.