Lebanon (MNN) — Over the weekend, Lebanese began taking to the streets for angry protests, even clashing with police. All this comes in the wake of the Beirut explosion that killed at least 200 people, injured thousands, and left over 300,000 people without homes.
Monday night, the Lebanese Prime Minister and his government stepped down. Tom Atema of Heart For Lebanon says, “That’s a lot of what the protests and the politicians are trying to say: ‘Listen, we’ve been yelling about this since October that this is a corrupt country. And you might have fooled my grandfather and my father, but you’re not fooling us. You all need to go.'”
Many Lebanese were deeply affected by French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Beirut on Friday. Pictures show him walking through the streets, embracing protestors. Many Lebanese have repeated the same sentiment: this is something our politicians and leaders would never have done. “As the weekend was beginning, the French Prime Minister was there and that was a sign of solidarity. ‘We’re for all for you. We’re going to help you.’ But it’s quickly turned into, ‘Can we become a colony of France again?’”
Aid to Lebanon
France and the United Nations have organized millions of dollars in aid to Lebanon. The world leaders also insist that these relief measures be administered to the people directly so as to avoid further corruption from the Lebanese government.
And this help is desperately needed. Atema says, “It’s estimated that 250 to 300,000 children will starve to death between now and the end of 2020 and that 75% of the Lebanese population total population (that includes the refugees) will need some kind of financial or physical aid to survive before the end of the year.”
Atema describes Lebanon’s situation as the biggest humanitarian crisis he has ever seen. But he also says people can find hope in Jesus Christ.
That’s why Heart For Lebanon is working with churches in the blast radius to rebuild their communities. “We feel there are at least 800 families that we would love to support, can support, and are ready to do so through those local churches.”
Pray for Lebanon. The country stands in desperate need of better leadership. Pray for Christians in Lebanon, that by the way they care for people after the explosion, many would be drawn to Christ.
The header image shows damaged buildings in Beirut after the explosion. (Photo courtesy of Arab Baptist Theological Seminary on Facebook)