Economic crisis leaves many in Lebanese Church without work

By May 11, 2023
People worshipping together

Lebanon (MNN) – As the Lebanese economic crisis persists, believers struggle to find jobs and provide for their families.

Pierre Houssney with Horizons International says that the Church in Lebanon faces great threats despite God’s evident work. “This is a paradox, really, because it’s true that the community is vibrant. It’s growing and it’s spreading its light, but also it is definitely under fire. It is struggling mostly economically to survive.”

People can’t find employment. Many young, bright workers are leaving to seek jobs in other countries. They go where work is available and send back money to their families as they are able.

Even some with jobs are feeling the need to move to an economy where they can take home a higher wage. Houssney shares that in one family two members each previously made the equivalent of $1000 a month, but now they bring in just $120 a month total. People cannot survive on their wages and so more and more are moving away.

This poses a serious potential threat to the Church. Suddenly church bodies are losing younger Lebanese Christians to other countries.

Woman with Bible

(Photo by Ben White on Unsplash)

Houssney states that they’ve seen many recent converts in this age demographic, but they are subject to the same economic struggles. “I praise God the church is becoming more and more Muslim background. The church is becoming filled with refugees, but also these refugees are turning around and traveling to the west, traveling to Canada, traveling to Europe. So, there is a turnover rate that is a bit alarming in the church in Lebanon.”

To keep the church healthy, there must be a shift.

Outsourcing Work to Keep the Church Intact

Horizons International is getting creative to help provide for the employment need. “Our organization has been experimenting a lot and expanding a lot in outsourcing, so that we can provide jobs for evangelical Christians. [This means] that they can stay, not only by receiving food portions or medical aid – things that we’re getting to refugees – but also by having a gainful income and having productive jobs either in ministry or things that can support them to stay, so that they can do ministry in their churches.”

Houssney sees this as a broader opportunity for the Church. There are many talented workers in Lebanon who can add value to the global economy, yet they are out of work. Christians in Lebanon don’t solely need emergency funds to get food. They need work. Now is the time to help start new companies or non-profits that will provide jobs for the evangelical community, allowing them to stay and have a future in Lebanon.

Consider the needs at your own place of work. “Do you need a personal assistant? Do you need a bookkeeper? Do you need a graphic designer? Do you need a web designer? Do you need a social media manager?” Houssney asks. “The evangelicals here that don’t have opportunities, they can do those jobs. We’re training them to do those jobs and we’re starting to have a growing number of US partners, and even partners in Europe that are providing us these tasks.”

Pray that God would provide sustainable work for Christians in Lebanon and consider how you might be able to support this need.


Header Photo by Pedro Lima on Unsplash

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