Hariri takes the helm with six weeks left to save Lebanon

By October 26, 2020

Lebanon (MNN) — There is a sense of déjà vu in Lebanon. Believers pray for a different outcome this time around.

On this week a year ago, protestors shut down Beirut because they wanted an end to government corruption. See our coverage here. Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri resigned on October 29, 2019, and it took months to find his replacement.

A timeline of Lebanon’s changes here.

Saad-al Hariri, the prime minister of Lebanon (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of State via Wikimedia Commons)

Fast-forward to Thursday, and Hariri is back in the same role as before. The future doesn’t look too promising. “He’s coming back on a platform that’s no different than when he left,” Heart for Lebanon’s Tom Atema says.

“We’ve been down this road before; it’s one of the reasons the protests started.”

Only six weeks remain before French President Emmanuel Macron’s pledged return to Beirut. A statement sent earlier this month urged Lebanese officials toward progress:

“It is up to Lebanese officials to choose to rise up instead of paralysis and chaos. The supreme interest of Lebanon and the Lebanese people requires that.”

God moves amid Lebanon’s mess

Major ongoing challenges – a failing economy and refugee crisis – were compounded this year by COVID-19 and the August 4 explosion. Much-needed foreign aid is available but contingent upon major governmental reform.

In short, Lebanon is a mess and the clock is ticking. “The latest date that France gave Lebanon to correct things was December 1,” Atema says.

“The heart is there to change; the people in Lebanon are praying that it changes. But, you’re taking a 200-million-pound tanker in the middle of the ocean and trying to do a 180.”

The good news? God is still moving in Lebanon, and you can join Him. Use the prompts listed alongside this article to cover the country in prayer.

Find ways to tangibly partner with Heart for Lebanon here.

“Last week, we had over 260 people in our Kurdish worship service on Wednesday night in the Bekaa Valley,” Atema says.

“People keep coming and coming, crying as they’re coming into the door; shedding tears [because] they need to understand what the future holds.”



Header image courtesy of jorono from Pixabay.