Lebanese Christian community shrinking amid crisis


01/11/2021 Lebanon (International Christian Concern) – As Christians in Lebanon face increasingly dire situations, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan has warned that the minority community may soon be non-existent in the country. Following the explosion of the Port of Beirut in August 2020, protests over lawsuits, corruption, weak public infrastructure and the ongoing pandemic plunged Lebanon into economic crisis.

Over 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. The Syriac Patriarch has expressed his concerns, “We are very, very afraid that if this crisis continues, it will be the end of Christians in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East in a few years. Normally when Christians leave, as happened in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, they don’t come back. They ask, “Why should we come back when we cannot guarantee our children a decent life or religious freedom?” “

In mid-October, protests demanding the removal of a judge from the ongoing Beirut explosion investigation left seven people dead. The Shiite movements Amal and Hezbollah organized the protests and later accused the Christian group Lebanese Forces of shooting at the protesters.

LF leader Samir Geagea denied any responsibility for the deaths, saying residents of Beirut’s Christian quarter of Ain Al-Remmaneh had “defended” themselves against “Hezbollah militiamen who tried to enter their homes. houses “. Geagea was summoned for questioning by Lebanese courts over the incident.

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