Christians watch Lebanon’s rallies with hope.

By March 10, 2005

Lebanon (MNN)–Lebanon’s selection of a new prime minister is underway, as Syria’s troops begin withdrawal.

Tapped to fill the spot is outgoing prime minister Omar Karameh. The move comes less than two weeks after he resigned in the face of massive opposition protests over Syria’s dominant role in the country. The streets are filled with demonstrating Lebanese, some former enemies unified under a common adversary.

Words of Hope’s Lee DeYoung was in the country for discussions over the ministry’s radio broadcasts in Arabic, Farsi, Dinka, and Nuer. He was also an eye-witness to several of these demonstrations in central Beirut’s Martyr’s Square. “There was not only no evidence of violence in the ones I was at, which involved thousands of participants, but also, the mood was upbeat, constructive, hopeful, almost as if it were a rally.”

However, Pro-Syrian Hezbollah supporters are now making their voices heard. That has given life to ghosts of its devastating civil war. Many are concerned that intercommunal tensions will boil over into violence.

That’s one point of view. But DeYoung says what he saw overall was a sense of optimism for the future of the country and ministry. “As far as Christians are concerned, if there is independence, there really is no fear that there would be any kind of repression or negative impact on a church. In fact, there is a hope that the number of Christians would increase as a result of that kind of development.”

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