Lebanon
Republic of Lebanon
July 25
Asia
Factbook

Answers to Prayer

1 The eventual ending of the civil war in 1990

2 The remarkable openness to spiritual things in the 1990s in the Muslim, Druze and Christian communities

3 Lebanon is still the only land in the Middle East where anyone is legally free to change their religious affiliation

Challenges for Prayer

1 Lebanon’s tragic history over the past 50 years with communal wars, foreign interventions and hostage-taking made world headlines

a) The government and its leaders

b) Full political freedom to be gained and religious freedom protected

c) The healing of the deep hurts in communities, families and individuals

d) A willingness to forgive

e) The rebuilding of the South after 22 years of military occupation

2 The Christian community has been deeply traumatized

3 The Orthodox and Catholic Churches are many and varied

4 The Protestant Church has struggled to grow due to centuries of suspicion of Western Christianity and because the many small denominations communicate a message of fragmentation and divisiveness

5 Trained leadership in evangelical churches is at a premium

6 Lebanon has long been one of the key centres for Christian ministries to the whole Middle East

a) The Bible Society, which has a vital role in distributing many Bibles within Lebanon and to surrounding nations

b) Christian schools and orphanages

c) Young people, who are often struggling in the post-war apathy, sense of loss, lack of job opportunities and gloom about the future

d) Christian literature production which has been severely disrupted

e) Radio

f) Christian TV

7 Expatriate Christian workers are returning to Lebanon after years of minimal presence because of widespread violence and hostage-taking

8 The unreached

a) The Shi’a Muslims who have been the more radical of the religious groupings

b) The Sunni

c) The Druze and their well-organized, close-knit community

d) The Palestinians — a tragic, stateless people

e) The poor and disadvantaged

Geography


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Area 10,230 sq.km. A fertile, mountainous state in the East Mediterranean.

Population (2000) 3,281,787 +1.75%AGR

Capital Beirut 2,050,000.

Peoples

Arabs 91.5%; Other 8.5%.

Literacy 92%. Official language Arabic; French and English are widely used. All languages 4. Languages with Scriptures 2Bi 2por.

Economy

Lebanon was the commercial hub of the Middle East until the civil war reduced Beirut to rubble and ruined its profitable trading, banking and tourist industries. HDI 0.749; 69th/174. Public debt 140% of GNP. Income/person $3,350 (11% of USA).

Politics

French-mandated territory 1919-1945.

Religion

Freedom of religion; the only Arab state that is not officially Muslim.

Religions Population % Adherents Ann.Gr.
Muslim 59.76 1,961,196 +3.5%
Christian 31.93 1,047,875 -1.1%
Druze 7.00 229,725 +1.5%
non-Religious/other 1.30 42,663 +1.8%
Jewish 0.01 328 +1.7%
Christians Denom. Affil.% ,000 Ann.Gr.
Protestant 23 0.54 18 +3.7%
Independent 1 0.15 5 +1.2%
Anglican 1 0.01 0 -2.0%
Catholic 6 22.00 722 -0.9%
Orthodox 6 8.96 294 -2.1%
Marginal 5 0.23 7 -1.4%
Unaffiliated   0.04 1 n.a.

Churches in Lebanon

Missionaries from Lebanon

51 in 7 agencies to 8 countries

Expatriates in Lebanon

112 in 26 agencies from 12 countries


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