Christians protected in Lebanon?

By July 29, 2010

Lebanon (MNN) — We begin today with good news for a change in the Middle East. According to the Jerusalem Post, Lebanon's ruling party issued a call to save the Christian communities of the Middle East.

Ahmad Hariri, secretary-general of the Lebanese Future Movement, said he was "extremely worried about the repercussions of the Christian emigration from some Middle East countries." Speaking at a press conference marking the closure of the Future Movement's founding congress in Beirut, the key political figure added that "nurturing the Christian presence [in the region] was an Arab and Islamic responsibility as much as it is a Christian one."

Greg Mussleman with Voice of the Martyrs, Canada says, "You've got the moderate Muslims that don't want the more militant ones taking over. Keeping the Christian presence there is positive for the country. They're good citizens."

Christians used to be the majority in the nation. However, Christians have lost their majority due to decades of emigration and the high birthrate of Muslims.

Mussleman says while this announcement is good for Christians in the Middle East, it may be unique for Lebanon because "Christians are in government. Whether we'll see that spreading to other countries like Iraq and Afghanistan? That may never happen."

What about the church in Lebanon? Mussleman says, "It's not strong. There's a lot of 'religion' mixed in there. It's not a strong following of Christ. They need to be a stronger witness for Christ."

How will this announcement affect Muslims turning to Christ? Mussleman says some moderate Muslim families won't care. "[With] the more militant aspect of families with Islamic roots, regardless of what the law is, they may still persecute and kill and do all sorts of things. But at least this is a start."

Mussleman adds, "You hope that the mentality of the government…gets into the people. Perhaps people start believing people can do whatever they want when it comes to religion. We know that's not always the case in Islamic countries, though."

VOM Canada is asking Christians to pray that Christians in Lebanon will be stronger in their faith, have the desire to grow, and be more outspoken about their faith.

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