ISIS threatens Lebanon; presidential candidates talk faith

By July 9, 2014

Lebanon (MNN/SAT-7) — A television program is looking to promote peace and prayer in a country where tensions are growing rapidly.

SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, is airing a series called Wars and Faith, featuring many presidential candidates.

Photo Courtesy of SAT-7

(Photo Courtesy of SAT-7)

Earlier this month, the seventh election event failed to see full participation from lawmakers. The eighth session is scheduled for July 23.

The indecision in Parliament is made worse by growing threats to the country from Lebanon.

Last month, ISIS claimed responsibility for a string of suicide bombings, according to the Associated Press. On Monday, a Lebanese military prosecutor charged 28 people for belonging to ISIS and planning attacks within the country. ISIS reportedly has vowed to take over Lebanon.

The Daily Star says that leaked documents indicate that ISIS is planning more attacks in the country. Iran is offering to help Lebanon fight against the threats of ISIS.

Meanwhile, the country is having difficulty selecting a new president, with resistance on all sorts of fronts.

Marking the occasion of Lebanon’s presidential elections, SAT-7 produced and is airing Wars and Faith (in Arabic, Haroob wa Iman). The powerful 10-episode series features interviews with presidential candidates. Presenter Hiam Abou Chedid, a renowned actress and TV presenter, asks the politicians about their experiences living and leading in the war-torn country.

Photo Courtesy of SAT-7

(Photo Courtesy of SAT-7)

Wars and Faith takes viewers beyond politics, to the personal aspects of candidates’ lives. They discuss everything from childhood memories to marriage, and how they see their relationship with God in the future. Each episode includes a confession segment, allowing guests to admit mistakes they have made.

Production Manager Maroun Bou Rached says, “The series will promote peace and show that there is a second chance with God. It lets Christians see that leaders also need Jesus; He’s not just a Savior for ordinary people. Everybody needs Jesus.”

Guests included:

Dr. Samir Geagea (leader of Lebanese Forces Party)

General Michel Aoun (former Lebanese Army Commander, Prime Minister, and leader of the Free Patriotic Movement)

Sleiman Frangieh (leader of the Marada Movement and former President)

Dory Chamoun (son of a former president and leader of the National Liberal Party)

Amine Gemayel (former President)

Photo courtesy of SAT-7

(Photo courtesy of SAT-7)

Two interviews, in particular, recounted life-changing experiences. Dr. Samir Geagea, the former leader of a Christian militia, shared that his 11-year prison sentence was what led him to consider spiritual issues and think about eternal life. It was only after the Syrian Army entered Lebanon and imprisoned Geagea that he started reading the Bible and growing closer to Jesus.

Another guest, Sleiman Frangieh, lost his entire family during the civil war. He testified that he has now forgiven his family’s killers and even ordered the release of the person who killed his sister.

Wars and Faith quickly attracted the attention of local industry leader, the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC). LBC purchased and aired the groundbreaking series on its own network, multiplying its reach to a wider audience.

Lebanon’s National Assembly will elect the next president for a 6-year term. Elections began on April 23, 2014, but thus far, no candidate has secured the 86 votes required for victory. Another vote is expected to take place this month.

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