06/28/2020 Lebanon (International Christian Concern) – Over the past four decades, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has established itself as a local peacekeeping force. With UNIFIL’s budget and mandate up for renewal in August, Hezbollah and its affiliates are pushing against possible changes that might lead to a lessening of their influence (Hezbollah is a terrorist organization and significant policy player in Lebanon). Some Lebanese Christians fear that this possibility is creating a strained atmosphere that further marginalizes non-Muslims and which thrusts Lebanon closer into the possibility of conflict.
Lebanon’s financial issues are also causing challenges for Christians in those two countries as well. Since many financial transactions are routed through Lebanon and the country maintains close relationships with those groups under sanctions, the situation is taking a toll on many in the region. Several Christians have expressed hardship at accessing financial resources at banks associated with Lebanon. Several of these Christians have experienced persecution and rely upon these funds to rebuild their lives.