By: Chadi Estephan
Christians in Lebanon face many challenges every day. Walking with a cross on a person’s chest can result in a beating or being spit at or even death.
The percentage of Christians is now at 41 percent from 84 percent in 1926. Christians and Muslims used to live together and eat at the same table, but the government is making that harder to accomplish.
Sunnis tended to follow Rafic Hariri, who took a hard line on mixing religious beliefs, and was a Sunni leader who was against Hezbollah, the Shiite political party. Sunnis are one of two Muslim groups. The Shiite are the other, but both are still Muslim.
The war in Syria that started three years ago made everything worse; it started between the rebels and the Syrian Army. As the war went on, it became more dangerous to live in Lebanon as a Christian. Beheadings of Christians and Shiites by ISIS were actually taking place.
There were many casualties that led to other groups joining the war. ISIS is an Islamic extremist Sunni group that wants to exterminate Christians from all of the Middle East, as well as other religions such as the Shiite. They have captured and killed priests them and tortured many Christians as well as beheading them. YouTube carries vides of these atrocities.
Muslim extremists have a saying that “all except Christians we shoot, but they are lower than that so we must behead them by physical force.” They think Christians are not worth the price of a bullet so they wouldn’t waste one on them.
ISIS has spread throughout Syria and into Iraq, and has recently entered Libya.
Palestine may be next, then possibly into Lebanon. The Syrian army is currently fighting ISIS and protecting all the Christians. Last spring the Lebanese Army hit ISIS in Bekka in the mountains of Lebanon killing many. ISIS captured eight Lebanese soldiers, of which one was killed, two were released and the others are still missing.
Before the 1975 Lebanese Civil War, life in Lebanon has been like this. Ever since the war, hostility has still been on the streets of every city. There is no running water, very little electricity, no jobs, and a shortage of food. Today there is only electricity during certain hours. Residents and visitors can still see bullet holes in buildings from the war.
The war can be seen as the final result of a country with no future.