US sanctions Hezbollah-affiliated politician in Lebanon

By November 17, 2020

Lebanon (MNN) — In an effort to combat corruption in Lebanon’s government, the Trump administration has placed sanctions on a Christian leader, Gebran Bassil, with ties to Hezbollah. Bassil, the son-in-law of Lebanese President Michel Aoun, has been accused of using his leadership position to better himself financially and cover up terrorist activities by Hezbollah.

Pierre Houssney of Horizons International says calling Bassil Christian points to his ethnicity, not his faith. “He’s the son in law of the president who is also a Christian. By law, he has to be a Christian. Hezbollah, over the past few years, has been controlling these institutions. So even though there’s a Christian name on the seat, these are the Christians that Hezbollah has picked to control. And that’s how they’re using the Christians: as a proxy to lead the policy and to continue their organized crime and embezzlement.”

Gebran Bassil. (Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creative commons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Crisis in Lebanon

All this political turmoil, Houssney says, is part of a larger chess game being played between Iran and the U.S., with Lebanon caught in the middle. The Lebanese people, worn down by corrupt politicians and institutions, long for leaders that care for the welfare of the people.

And 2020 would have been a good year for Lebanon to have strong, caring leadership. The country had already suffered a severe economic crisis before COVID-19 outbreaks and the massive Beirut explosion pushed the country into further hardship.

Horizon’s International has been working to spread the hope of the risen Jesus, and well as providing aid in His name. “We’ve been doing as much relief work as possible. We have teams of 80 staff and 40 different volunteers that [went] out right after the blast. We’ve been working with dozens of partner churches, evangelical churches in Lebanon, that are giving out humanitarian aid.”

Pray God will visit Lebanon with hope. And pray that Lebanon will gain leaders that care for the welfare of the people.

 

 

Flag of Hezbollah (Header image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).