Complex, besieged and dysfunctional on many levels (it took 29 months to break a deadlock and pick a president), Lebanon nonetheless is an open society where freedoms of the press, assembly, expression, and religion are protected by law. Since the end of its 15-year civil war in 1990, Christians and Muslims have shared representation in the government. But underneath the relatively stable politics, tensions abound – related to geographic origin, clan identity and religious affiliation. The turmoil in neighbouring Syria exacerbates tensions in Lebanon, which is enduring the burden of an estimated 1 million Syrian refugees. Additionally, an estimated 14,000 Christians from Iraq have sought refuge in Lebanon.
How do Christians under pressure for their faith celebrate Christmas? In the seventh in our series we hear from a Lebanese Catholic who helps look after Iraqi and Syrian refugees in Beirut. Lebanon has absorbed more than a million refugees from conflicts in nearby Syria and Iraq, where Christians either […]
“I lived with my in-laws for 35 years. At the beginning it was like going to the gallows!” recalls Lydia Babayan, 57, an Iraqi-born Armenian Catholic. “My mother-in-law was very aggressive and my father-in-law was very strict. But my husband’s sister was good to me, she never said a bad […]
Petros Babayan strains to sit up as if each bone of his paper-thin frame were heavy as iron. His wife Lydia and adult daughter Rita rush to help him. In their tiny rented apartment in Beirut, his single bed takes up a quarter of the room in which they live […]
One in every 113 people on earth is a refugee, according to UN figures; yesterday at its General Assembly in the US, it adopted the New York Declaration aimed at reaching a more humane and coordinated approach to large movements of refugees and migrants. At the meeting, UN Secretary-General Ban […]
At least five people were killed and 15 wounded in suicide bomb attacks early on Monday in the predominantly Christian village of Qaa, northern Lebanon – on a road linking its Bekaa valley to Syria. Four bombers blew themselves up on Qaa’s streets starting at 1am GMT. No group has […]
World Watch Monitor has an occasional diary from a church leader still in Aleppo, the Syrian city that is now a key battleground between rebels and President Assad’s forces. Recently, however, pastor Samuel* visited Beirut in neighbouring Lebanon to meet some of that country’s one million Syrian refugees. This is his edited […]
The Associated Press (AP) reports that some Lebanese Christians are stockpiling weapons and setting up self-defence units to protect themselves from the Islamic State. This report came the day before IS militants beheaded Lebanese soldier Abbas Medlej who had been taken hostage by the group’s militants in August. Photos of […]
Around two-thirds of the library’s estimated 80,000 books are thought to have been damaged.MTV Lebanon News / YouTube A huge library of books collected by a 72-year-old Greek Orthodox priest, but used by the whole community, was torched in Lebanon on Friday (January 3) after he was accused of insulting […]
The war in Syria threatens to spill over into Lebanon, where the Damascus regime and the rebels both have supporters. A Lebanese BBC journalist’s film ‘Lebanon on the Brink‘ shows the latent sectarian enmity between Sunni and Alawite Shia in Tripoli, northern Lebanon.