Lebanon’s Christians Respond to Economic Crisis with Prayer and Fasting

(Photo courtesy of Cry Out Now)

Protests in Lebanon are now in their fourth week. They seem to have had some impact, but the government’s response is a far cry from systematic change.

Protestors want someone to fix socioeconomic conditions and end a political stalemate. Jane* is a spokeswoman for the prayer ministry Cry Out Now. As a resident of Beirut, Jane’s had a front-row seat to the events taking center stage in Lebanon. So far, the protests are peaceful, and the Lebanese are thankful for that.

Demanding a ‘new normal’

However, that doesn’t mean the situation is without tension. “I think the big frustration of the people out in the streets is with the corruption that has been ruling Lebanon; is the frustration with our government systems; the way that the governing bodies have been governing… the whole way that government structure has been set up.”

She says people are not satisfied with the old way of doing things anymore, and they’re not afraid to say so. “We want a new model. We want a new government that isn’t corrupt. We are kind of on the verge of an economic crisis as well; (it’s) just the reality that if the country was governed better, then economically, we should have been in a better place.”

The whole thing has shifted from a protest event into a movement in the wake of proposed austerity measures that effectively doubled taxes last month.

Lebanon calling out to God

But there’s something different going on among the Christians. Yes, they feel the pressure of high unemployment, inflation, taxes, and cost of living. They’re speaking their minds, too, but this time, Jane observes,” I think one of the things that excite me is to see how believers are responding from a place of faith and prayer in the midst of these uncertain times.” People are choosing to be intentional about praying and about fasting through the crisis.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, R.B. Klama