Lebanon (MNN) — Daylight savings time is back on the agenda in Lebanon following days of confusion.
After an emergency meeting of the caretaker government, Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said clocks would go forward one hour overnight from Wednesday to Thursday. Mikati reversed his original decision following a massive uproar.
Last week, Mikati abruptly decided to delay the time change until April 20 – the day Ramadan ends – instead of moving the clocks forward on Sunday. As a result, Lebanese society woke up in two different time zones.
“Basically, you had Muslim time and Christian time,” Heart for Lebanon’s Tom Atema says.
“This Muslim leader (Mikati) declared that they’re not going to change their clocks because it’s Ramadan, and they would like to keep that extra hour the way it is,” he continues.
“The Maronites (Christians) simply said, ‘No, we’ve been doing this time change thing – like the whole world has – for decades, and we’re changing our time.’”
The debate deepened religious divides in a country rocked by a 15-year civil war between Christian and Muslim factions. “This time issue is bigger than you think because it’s not like a border from one country to the next,” Atema says.
“This is within communities, within people groups, which makes it far more complicated.”
Plus, there’s no end in sight to Lebanon’s economic woes. The best thing you can do now? “Pray that this doesn’t hinder the work God is doing in [Lebanon, and] that people will not get discouraged,” Atema says.
“Many people in Lebanon are seeking answers to these problems, and they’re finding answers in the Gospel.”
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Anete Lusina/Pexels.