Stakes high for Lebanon elections

By June 4, 2009

Lebanon (MNN) — Lebanon is bracing for political turmoil that could potentially boil over into more violence in that nation plagued by civil war, terrorism and conflict with Israel. National elections are scheduled for June 7 and people on all sides are concerned — including Christians.

Kids Alive works in Lebanon. The ministry's Lebanon director Mat Gregory describes the tension. "The lines are set between a large Hezbollah contingent and a Christian party. And, the other parties are mainly western backed and they're currently in power at the moment."

Because these groups carry with it a certain stigma, Gregory says, "There's a great deal of uncertainty about what the future is and just listening to conversations around tables, there is fear as to what the outcome will be and where that will lead the country."

Many believe the Hezbollah backed parties will win the election. Even though freedom of religion is recognized there, Gregory says evangelicals are concerned. "Will there still be a space within the country for the Christian minority, or will pressure continue to increase for them? And, over time will they begin to lose the power they have, until now, retained within the country?"

Kids Alive is a ministry dedicated to rescuing orphans and vulnerable children. Gregory explains. "Kids Alive Lebanon has a residential program for 38 boys ranging in age from four to 18 years old. We have a school for those residential children and we also have a small day care program." They also have a bakery.

Gregory has the children aren't immune from the political rhetoric. "They know very well what they're background is, whether they come from a Muslim background or a Christian background, they know very well. Even as young children they have strong political ideas."

However, he says it's the uncertainly that creates life changing moments for Kids Alive. "Very real issues like fear of the future, it does account for the basis for conversation and the children do want to hear that they can have confidence in a relationship with Jesus — that they can know stability and security."

Gregory is asking Christians to pray for the elections. Pray that peace would prevail. Pray also that God would use this time of uncertainty to draw people to Himself.

Kids Alive is also looking for Christians to sponsor children in their residential program. Click here to find out how you can help.

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