LSESD partners with Catholic parish

By June 28, 2022

Lebanon (MNN) — For decades, evangelical and Catholic communities in Lebanon have lived in their own bubbles.

But in May, a small Catholic parish invited LSESD to hold a children’s event. Over 170 children met in Maghdouche, a small village with Greek Catholic roots and home to a well-known statue of Mary.

Wissam Nasrallah says their first interaction with this community happened during the pandemic. “We were able to step in and support with some food aid to the most vulnerable people of the community. We also had the opportunity in the past to organize a medical camp in this town and a Christianity Explored workshop.”

“So with time, we were able to develop a relationship with the Catholic leadership there.”

LSESD staff spent the day in town, teaching Bible stories, singing, and eating food with the community. Nasrallah says, “We picked some of the hymns that they already knew from the Catholic Church. And we’ve integrated these as part of our worship time. This was one way to adapt and to build bridges.”

The Catholic leadership stayed closely involved with the teaching, Nasrallah says. “We were working hand in hand with them. This really removed any idea or perception that we were trying to impose or hijack the event.”

Religion in Lebanon

Lebanon has 18 official religions, including several Christian denominations. All these groups tend to huddle together.

In fact, they have separate legal systems. Nasrallah says, “Everything related to marriage, adoption, and personal status is determined by one’s religion. You need to belong to a religious community to get married, to get a proper burial, and so on.”

Amid the financial crisis, people in Lebanon are looking for hope. Pray the radical unity of God’s people will attract many to Jesus.

 

 

The header photo shows kids gathered for the event. (Photo courtesy of LSESD)