Leaving Lebanon

News: Video Reports
by Rodney Pelletier  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  November 3, 2022   

Christians fleeing economic crisis

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TRANSCRIPT

Lebanon's Christians are hardly ever mentioned in news headlines, but they are enduring incredible hardship.

Church Militant's Rodney Pelletier discusses how Lebanese Christians are fleeing the country due to government corruption, mismanagement and negligence.

Massive hyperinflation is crippling an already troubled nation, and Lebanon's Christians are in a bad spot. Since 2019, the Lebanese pound has tanked, losing almost 90% of its worth — virtually wiping out the middle class. Now people have only about 10% of their buying power left to purchase basic necessities.

Costs have soared in the last two years: Food and non-alcoholic beverages are up over 402%; clothing and footwear, 559%; and household equipment and maintenance, 655%.

Cash is scarce. Even though people might technically have money in their bank accounts, the banks have no cash to give out. After widespread bank robberies and rioting, banks closed their doors with no set plans to reopen.

In all of this, the Lebanese government — due to its corruption and mismanagement — has been totally ineffective at helping an increasingly enraged nation.

Christians make up just over 32% of the population. Most of them are Eastern rite Catholics and Eastern Orthodox.

Due to the economic crisis, almost 80% of Lebanon's 330 Catholic schools may close their doors.

In 2021, Bp. Gregory Mansour, head of the Maronite diocese of Brooklyn warned, "I cannot overemphasize how important Catholic institutions are in Lebanon," adding, "without them, the government has been zero, and if you want to serve the poor in Lebanon, help the Catholic institutions because they help Catholics, Orthodox, evangelicals, Shiites, Sunni Muslims and Druze."

Lebanon's Christians are fleeing to more economically stable countries.

Lebanese American University Professor Habib Malik also warned, "It's Christian youth primarily, along with entire Christian families, [that] are packing and leaving permanently." He added, "This will render Lebanon indistinguishable from its Arab surroundings in terms of the absence of basic freedoms and pluralist coexistence."

Many describe Lebanon as a failed state, and the mass flight of Christians will surely guarantee that is the nation's fate.

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