Islamic State recruiters active in Lebanon; refugees at risk

By March 8, 2022

Lebanon (MNN) — When Islamic State fighters took control of Iraq and Syria eight years ago, refugees flooded into Lebanon. Now, as Lebanon falls apart, displaced individuals are at risk once again.

Syrian refugees tell Heart for Lebanon’s Tom Atema that militants come to their camps in disguise, offering food, housing, protection, and more.

“They’ve told me, ‘This fellow came into my tent, and said, ‘I’ll give you everything that Heart for Lebanon is giving you, but [I’ll] also give you $500 a month cash’,’” Atema says.

The offer is appealing to refugees who see no future in Lebanon. “If you’re a Syrian refugee, you’re living at or below the extreme poverty line,” Atema says.

“You have no legal documents to know that you exist. On top of that, you’re not allowed to work.”

Some desperate families accept, only to find out “they had moved to an ISIS camp,” Atema says.

“The children would not receive an academic education; they receive a military education, where they learn how to hate and shoot guns.”

(Photo courtesy of Heart for Lebanon)

Heart for Lebanon facilitates change from the bottom up. By introducing biblical, value-based education, they’re raising a generation of godly leaders. Learn more here.

“Lebanon does not need a new system as much as they need a Savior. I’m asking God to give us ten more years,” Atema says.

“We have this golden opportunity, this ‘Esther moment’ to reach these children. In ten years, we can have enough students in places of influence where they can start to change the country for the better,” he continues.

“Reaching the children is extremely important [because] it’s the only hope we have, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to ‘fix’ Lebanon.”

Give kids a future through Heart for Lebanon.

Most importantly, pray. Use the prompts listed alongside this article to guide your intercession. “We’re praying that God will give us another 500 prayer partners this year,” Atema says.

“We need wisdom. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to go before us.”



Header image depicts Heart for Lebanon’s Hope on Wheels club. Hope on Wheels Clubs are empowerment programs that invest in at-risk children, helping them realize they have value and building their self-esteem. One of those programs is hairdressing, and it inspires young girls to dream for their futures! (Photo, caption courtesy of Heart for Lebanon)

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