Christianity in Lebanon: Holding Strong Despite the Challenges

Christianity in Lebanon: Holding Strong Despite the Challenges March 2, 2023

Lebanon, once known as the “Switzerland of the Middle East” due to its cultural diversity and tolerance, has been facing a range of economic and political challenges for many years. The Christian community in Lebanon, which makes up around 35% of the population, has been particularly hard hit by these struggles.

I recently wrote about the plight of Lebanon,”While the world is distracted by Ukraine, Lebanon’s crisis only deepens,” and I think its well worth the read.

Lebanon’s Christian community traces its roots back to the first century AD, and has been a vital part of the country’s cultural and social fabric ever since. However, in recent decades, Christians in Lebanon have experienced a range of challenges, from political instability and social upheaval to economic turmoil and persecution.

A Maronite church in the mountains of Lebanon

One of the main challenges facing Christians in Lebanon today is the political instability that has plagued the country for many years. Lebanon has been without a functioning government for several months, with political factions unable to agree on the formation of a new government. This has created an environment of uncertainty and insecurity for all Lebanese, but particularly for the Christian community, which has often been a target of sectarian violence.

A church pokes through the barbed wire in downtown Beiruit

In addition to political instability, Christians in Lebanon have also been impacted by economic turmoil. The country’s economic crisis, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has resulted in skyrocketing inflation, a shortage of basic goods and services, and widespread unemployment. Christians, like other communities in Lebanon, have struggled to make ends meet, with many forced to rely on aid from charities and international organizations to survive.

The Christian community in Lebanon has also faced persecution and discrimination. In recent years, there have been reports of churches being vandalized and Christian-owned businesses being targeted by extremist groups. Christians have also been subject to social and cultural marginalization, with some Muslim-majority areas in Lebanon becoming increasingly hostile to Christians.

Despite these challenges, however, the Christian community in Lebanon remains resilient and determined to overcome these difficulties. Churches and religious organizations have been providing vital support to those in need, including food, shelter, and medical care.

In the face of these struggles, the Christian community in Lebanon has held fast to its faith and its commitment to the country. Despite the many challenges that they face, Christians in Lebanon continue to be an important and vibrant part of the country’s cultural and social landscape. With their faith, resilience, and determination, they remain a symbol of hope and inspiration for all those who are struggling in Lebanon and around the world.

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