“There hasn’t been war breaking out between the parties in Lebanon, like during the civil war, and there haven’t been reports of people dying of starvation – which we’re very thankful for. But honestly, it seems like we could be headed in both of those directions,” says Pierre Houssney, Executive Director of Horizons International.
“We’re discovering a new ‘rock bottom’ every month or so.”
Foreign aid hinges on the formation of a government, which ruling parties have failed to do since 2019. See our full Lebanon coverage here.
Iran poses another looming threat. Houssney says the Islamic Republic may have a new president-elect, but its operations in Lebanon remain unchanged.
“Iran is the sponsor of Hezbollah. They support Hezbollah more than any other party in Lebanon gets supported, from any [source]. They’re supporting Hezbollah to gradually take over the entire country of Lebanon,” Houssney says.
“They’ve eaten away at all the institutions and the government and military; they’re pulling the puppet strings behind all of this.”
Hezbollah operates as both a political party and paramilitary group in Lebanon. The U.S. designates Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and State Department estimates from 2019 put Iran’s cash flow to the group at $700 million per year.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid expressed his concern about Iran’s proxy presence in a recent interview with CNBC:
“Lebanon used to be a country with a terror organization, now it’s a terror organization with a country, which is alarming.”
In Beirut and beyond, Lebanese believers are doing all they can to help people in Jesus’s name. You can support their efforts here.
“We are providing food portions to 85 Lebanese churches so that they can be supporting their communities of Lebanese people and Syrian refugees,” Houssney says.
“The Church is in desperate need of an investment right now, in humanitarian aid and in ministry, just to keep going.”
Header image is a 2009 cartoon of Hezbollah, Iran, and Hamas, with Iran as puppetmaster. (Graphic and caption courtesy of Cartoons by Barry/Wikimedia Commons)