Anti-Syrian sentiment spikes in Lebanon

By April 15, 2024

Lebanon (MNN) — Tensions and violence peak in Lebanon as Syrian gang members recently killed a Lebanese politician, causing a spike in anti-Syrian sentiment.

The Lebanese army says Syrian gang members hijacked the politician’s car, killed him, and took his body to Syria. Pierre Houssney of Horizons International says Lebanese anger is spilling into the streets.

“A lot of Lebanese are taking justice into their own hands and starting to be like vigilantes,” Houssney says.

“We’ve had guys go out on the streets with loudspeakers and issue general threats to Syrians that they need to leave their homes and go back to Syria.”

Furthermore, because the politician belonged to an ethnically Christian political party, “Every day, there have been instances of Syrians out in the streets being accosted by ethnic Christians beating them and threatening them,” Houssney says.

“It grieves my heart when we see people who are bearing the name of Christ beating these Syrians. It feels like they’re pushing them further away from the Gospel.”

The situation directly impacts Syrian Gospel workers at Horizons’ facilities.

Horizons workers visit with children at a refugee camp.
(Photo courtesy of Horizons International)

“You take for granted that people can come into the office [or] go to their place of ministry, whether it’s one of our ministry centers or our school for refugee kids. All of those things have had to shut down,” Houssney says.

“The Syrians can’t show up because it’s just too dangerous for them to be on the streets in certain neighborhoods.”

Pray for calm in the streets of Lebanon, and pray Syrian Gospel workers can walk safely in public again.

“It’s likely, based on the past, to calm down after a few days, and life goes on as usual until the next time these tensions peak,” Houssney says.

Learn how Horizons International proclaims Christ and equips disciples through its ministry in Beirut, Lebanon.




Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Ahmed akacha/Pexels.

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