Lebanon (MNN) –It has been a tumultuous week in Lebanon. Hundreds of thousands of protestors remain in the streets. Tax reforms began the movement; now, it’s about reforming the government.
Heart for Lebanon’s Tom Atema just returned from Beirut. “Things have gotten worse since Monday afternoon,” he tells MNN.
“I’m calling this Lebanon’s Arab Spring.”
What’s going on in Lebanon?
As described here, current Lebanese frustration centers on the nation’s economic plight. Lebanon carries one of the world’s largest debt loads; last month, the government declared an economic state of emergency.
Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil suggested Lebanon might run out of funds by the end of the year, Reuters reports. “The protests have been peaceful up until now,” Atema says.
“They’re about 50% bigger than they were on Monday; they cross all ethnic [and] religious lines.”
Protestors are nearly all under the age of forty, he adds. “They basically have said… ‘You might have pulled the wool over our grandparents’ eyes, but you’re not pulling the wool over our eyes’,” Atema says.
“‘You ruined my future, get out of the way. Let us take over’.”
How can I help?
Pray for peace in Lebanon. Gospel work continues but protests make transportation difficult, and trouble’s stirring in the Syrian refugee camps. “Last Sunday, for example, we needed to suspend our worship gatherings in [the Bekaa Valley],” Atema says.
“It was just too uncertain, too unsafe, for the refugees to walk and come to the center… so we didn’t even have church under those circumstances.”
Header and story image courtesy Shahen Books via Wikimedia Commons.