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Many Muslims in Lebanon have suffered greatly at the hands of other Muslims during Syria’s civil war, resulting in a new openness to Christ. Because Lebanon has a significant Christian population and its government protects the freedom of worship, it has become a safe haven for displaced Christians throughout the region. More than 1 million Syrian refugees have entered the country since 2012, increasing Lebanon’s population by nearly one-fourth. Despite the hardships, many evangelical churches in Lebanon have not only welcomed but also cared for Christian and Muslim Syrian refugees, who have limited resources and few rights in the country. Lebanese churches distribute Bibles and Christian literature alongside food and other necessities. Many Muslim refugees have bravely attended home Bible studies and church services to learn about Christ. Significant numbers have placed their faith in Christ, been baptized and become active in local churches. Some Christian converts from Islam are already actively witnessing to Muslims.
59 percent of Lebanese are Muslims, evenly divided between Sunni and Shiite. 33 percent are Christians, including 1 percent evangelicals. Members of the country’s small Druze minority, a secretive monotheistic faith, sometimes persecute Christians.
Various Islamic extremist groups, including Hezbollah in the south and other Shiite-majority regions, actively persecute Christians. Sunni extremist cells affiliated with the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS), al-Qaida and other groups are active near the Syrian border. Christians are also persecuted by their tribes and families.
What It Means To Follow Christ In Lebanon:
Lebanon’s urban areas are open and Westernized, but Christians outside the prominent cities and especially in the majority-Muslim areas face significant opposition and threat. Those born into Christian families are allowed to worship openly, but Christians face ongoing harassment from the Muslim majority, such as denial of land acquisition and increased tax rates. More severe forms of persecution occur when believers share their faith or when Muslims come to Christ. Christian converts from Islam are persecuted mostly by family and the community.
Access To Bibles:
A variety of Bibles are available through Bible societies, local churches and bookstores. Give Bibles
Because Lebanon has become a refuge for Christian converts fleeing persecution in other countries and because of persecution within Lebanon itself, VOM supports many persecuted believers in Lebanon in a variety of ways. VOM also helps meet the basic needs of Christian refugees who have been driven from their homes. We partner with local churches to provide Bibles as well as medical and education assistance. We also support a broad network of evangelists and church planters in frontier areas and support training for Christian leaders. Give to VOM’s Global Ministry
- Pray for those ministering to Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley.
- Pray for Bachir, who is persecuted by those to whom he preaches in the remote mountains.
- Pray for areas outside of Beirut, such as Tyre, Sidon and Tripoli, where there is little Christian presence.
- Pray for the ongoing translation of Christian literature used throughout the region.
- Pray for pastors, churches and Christians living amid economic and civil disorder.
- Pray that churches will become more united and cooperative for the sake of the gospel.