• Pray for preservation of religious freedom.
• Pray for Christians to commit to staying in the land in order to spread the gospel to their neighbors.
• Pray for healing and forgiveness for those deeply wounded by the tragedy of war.
"Loubnan" is Phoenician for "white mountain," source of the cedar tree found in the middle of the Lebanese national flag. Ribbons of red border the top and bottom of the flag, representing centuries of bloodshed from foreign occupation, civil war, and strife. Geographically positioned between East and West, Lebanon's struggle is representative of other countries in the region, which are dominated by sectarian conflict while straining to become part of the modern world. Consider a population encompassing Muslim Shiites, Sunnis, Druzes, Christian Maronites, and Greek and Armenian Orthodox groups, with a growing Palestinian population, external interference from neighboring Syria, and ongoing conflict with Israel. Add discord resulting from widening gaps between upper and lower classes and the influence of fundamentalism. Then, institute civil law based on French Napoleonic law and a separate religious court which decides individual rights and privileges. The result is a formula for turmoil and upheaval. Although Lebanon is a democratic republic, sectarianism has been codified since 1989, with power divided along religious affiliations. As a result, forming a consensus government in Lebanon has proved formidable. The government collapse in January of 2011 underscores the difficulty of establishing lasting stability in the nation.
Today, most Lebanese are trying to move beyond perpetual conflict, recognizing that the economic viability of the country hinges on its ability to contain sectarian upheaval. This includes government support for capitalism and free enterprise. Waves of emigration during the civil war years of 1975-90 have resulted in Lebanese commercial and social networks around the globe, and with them exposure to freedom of thought and expression. As a result, independent sources indicate that the media has more freedom in Lebanon than in any other Arab country, and in 2010 these sources reported one million INTERNET users with no evidence of technical filtering. So, Lebanon finds itself on the cusp of a new era, struggling to make a place for itself amid interference from neighboring countries while at the same time trying to forge a united national identity.
Lebanon is the only remaining country in the Middle East where people are free to change religions, but Christians make up only one-third of the population, and hostility to the gospel has led to their increasing exodus from the country. Yet hope abounds: para-church organizations reach out to Lebanon's youth; and Christian radio, television, and literature afford opportunities to reach people caught in bitterness, distrust, and hopelessness. As opportunity remains to proclaim truth in Lebanon, every attempt to take advantage of this open door must be leveraged to reach the hearts and minds of its people.
Capital City: Beirut
Major People Groups: 67% Lebanese,
24% Other Arab, 8% Other
Religion: 59% Muslim, 31% Christian, 7% Druze
GDP Per Capita: $5,700
Literacy Rate: 87.4%
Source: Lovely Christian Song from Lebanon (Lebanese Christian song ): zzziad
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