Protestors angry after Lebanon’s municipal elections postponed — again

By April 24, 2023

Lebanon (MNN) — Riots and protests broke out last week in Lebanon when parliament announced they are postponing municipal elections that were slated for next month, citing lack of government funds for polling.

This is the second time Lebanon’s municipal elections have been postponed. They were originally supposed to take place in May 2022 but were delayed one year.

Municipal and parliamentary elections are the only elections in Lebanon that allow for citizens to vote directly.

Additionally, Lebanon is approaching six months now without a president, and one year without a fully functioning government. Three-quarters of the population lives in poverty.

(Photo courtesy of Heart for Lebanon)

As Camille Melki with Heart for Lebanon puts it, the Lebanese have been “holding our breath.” With the elections postponed again, disappointment and anger has taken hold.

Lebanon has shown over and over again that the people cannot rely on politicians for solutions.

Melki explains, “The municipalities are the smallest sized government that provides daily services to the citizens of that village, town, and city…. Those municipalities are out of cash, out of resources, and they can’t even pay their own staff salaries. So their basic needs and basic services are lacking all throughout the country of Lebanon.”

In this time of political uncertainty, the Lebanese Church is pointing people to a better hope in Christ.

“The citizens of Lebanon are seeking help predominantly from non-government agencies and from places of worship, which put the Church at the forefront addressing basic needs, immediate needs of survival — whether it’s food, education, or medicine. The Church is playing a significant role to be the hands and feet of Jesus today more than it has ever done so.”

Melki says, “The Church does all that with Christ’s love without anything expected in return. Your politicians might love and care on you, but basically they’re loving and caring on their position. They want a return on their daily investment.

Aid distribution
(Photo courtesy of Heart for Lebanon)

“So when people see the Church loving freely and unconditionally and understanding that is in the ethos of our Christian faith, then it gives us the opportunity to answer the next question: ‘Who is Jesus? What does the Bible teach us?’”

Heart for Lebanon works with a network of churches in Lebanon of various sizes and denominations. However, like most organizations in the country, they have limited resources.

You can come alongside Heart for Lebanon with financial support so they can provide food packages, blankets, medical supplies, and even education scholarships to struggling Lebanese families!


Also, Melki asks, “Pray for us that we would persevere and continue pressing on, knowing that our God is a God of strength, empowerment, encouragement, perseverance, and resources. We cannot give up. We can be motivated and encouraged by the greater Body of Christ that is praying for us.”







Header photo of Lebanon flag, courtesy of Charbel Karam/Unsplash.

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