Man Says His Religious Faith Spared Home From Tornado, Neighbors' Homes Destroyed (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Anthony Khoury recorded a video on Sunday of a tornado destroying his Washington, Ill. neighborhood while he prayed aloud.

Khoury is heard on the video (below) saying the Lord's Prayer followed by a Hail Mary.

"I come from a very devout Catholic Christian family, and we trust in God that He protects us and He always gives us strength and courage to help us endure in all sorts of sufferings and threats," Khoury told CNN.

Originally, Khoury's dad thought the sound of the tornado was a helicopter flying over until they looked outside and saw a massive twister.

"We all just... ran downstairs and we just all started praying and holding each other's hands, and we believed that God would keep us safe," added Khoury.

The tornado did not hit Khoury's house or street, but did ravage surrounding neighborhoods.

"We're so blessed that our street was untouched," said Khoury. "You drive out of my street and all this destruction is there. A mile away it is all destroyed."

However, it is entirely possible that the people whose homes were destroyed also prayed exactly as Khoury did. It is also possible that the tornado was guided by atmospheric conditions.

The National Weather Service Forecast Office for Central Illinois said the tornado that ravaged Washington had a peak wind speed of between 170 and 190 miles per hour.

Governor Pat Quinn declared seven counties to be state disaster areas due to massive structural damage, downed power lines and fallen trees, reports the Shelbyville Daily Union. Gov. Quinn also issued a prayer for the victims.

"Yesterday Illinois was hit extremely hard by deadly tornadoes that left many in a great deal of pain and loss," said Gov. Quinn in a press release. "Although we are still receiving reports of massive damage to communities across our state, we want to make sure people are getting the assistance and resources they need as quickly as possible. As we pray for the families of those who have lost their lives and others who are injured, the state of Illinois will do everything necessary to help these communities recover."

Sources: CNN and Shelbyville Daily Union