Lebanon (MNN) – On November 4th, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation. At least until Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun urged Hariri to take more time for consultations before finally stepping down. Now, Hariri’s resignation is on hold.
Confusion in the Middle East
(Image courtesy Google Maps)
However, when Hariri announced his resignation on TV from Saudi Arabia, it ushered in accusations that Sunni aligned Saudi Arabia had pressured Hariri to resign and was holding him against his will. The Shia Islamist political party, Hezbollah, even went as far to claim Saudi Arabia was declaring war with Lebanon because of Hariri’s debated detention.
Considering the Sunni-Shia Muslim rivalry and power struggle in the Middle East, Hariri’s resignation and then pause to do so could tip a very delicate scale in the Middle East’s politics, begging the question: what is going on?
Rex Rogers with SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, shares, “It’s hard to know from our perspective (SAT7, of course, doesn’t get involved in political things) but having just visited Beirut here in the last month when a lot of this was going on—we found that folks were in a sense almost used to this. The rest of the world interprets things one way or the other, but, they see these things come and go.”
Tolerance in Lebanon
But, despite the political storm that was stirring in the country, Rogers shares that the people of Lebanon seem to have a real perspective of diversity. In other words, despite having different beliefs, the Lebanese find a way to get along.
Flag of Lebanon(Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
“Even groups like Hezbollah are not viewed as negatively in Lebanon by most people as some outside view that group, because they provide certain stability and they are Lebanese,” Rogers explains.
However, a breakdown in stability in Lebanon could threaten minorities in the country, like Christians and refugees. Right now, the country is doing a lot to help provide for refugees, both Syrian and Iraqi, who’ve sought refuge within its borders.
“There [are] a lot of families there that wouldn’t have anywhere else to go if Lebanon hadn’t opened its doors,” Rogers shares.
Regardless of tensions in the country, SAT-7 offers hope through the Gospel to the people in Lebanon. Through its satellite TV ministry, SAT-7 helps meet needs of kids growing up illiterate through its new channel, SAT-7 Academy.
“They grow up so fast and you need to provide them with an ability to function in a free society, and the ability to be employed, and avoid extremism if they have opportunities to care for themselves,” Rogers explains.
And while the recent clamor in Lebanon mightn’t worry the Lebanese as much as the outside world, will you pray? Pray for peace in Lebanon and protection and encouragement for the people.
More now than ever, people in the Middle East and North Africa are looking for spiritual answers. Please pray these people would encounter Christ, the Gospel, and have their lives transformed through it.
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