Lebanon, a country that was already collapsing under a prolonged economic meltdown and consequent soaring hyper-inflation has been doubly hit by the COVID-19 crisis and now devastating explosions at the Beirut port that killed hundreds.
A large portion of the country’s population who had been driven into poverty before the explosion is now enduring a spike in COVID, a new partial lock-down, more job losses, and homelessness.
In the poor neighborhoods near the Beirut port, an estimated 300,000 people lost their homes completely in the deadly blast on August 4, 2020, while many more are living in damaged structures without doors or windows.
Roughly 90% of those affected are Christians, refugees, and other minority religions dwelling in the Shi’i Muslim-majority capitol of Lebanon.
Christian Freedom International is working with our contacts to support local schools, convents, and churches which have been converted into temporary housing, providing food, water and other daily essentials to blast victims.
Although Lebanon had been a refuge for persecuted Christians since the 7th century, after the assassination of a former Prime Minister in 2005 Christians and minority religions began to feel vulnerable to hostile elements, notably propelled by Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.
In the last official census in 1932, Christians were the majority religion in the former French territory.
In 2012 Lebanon was 54% Muslim and 40% Christian.* By 2017 the Christian population had shrunk to approximately 36%.**
The failing state has not announced any plans for long-term solutions that will be needed to accommodate all those who were displaced, and widespread political corruption is contributing to social instability.
Please, pray for all the victims of the Beirut explosion, and those in hardship from the double economic and pandemic crisis. Our in-country contacts tell us that a much larger number of the victims than is being reported are Christians.
*Statistics Lebanon, estimate
**CIA World Factbook