Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC, 2018.

Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC, 2018.

Once considered the shining example of diverse Middle Eastern peoples and religious groups living in harmony, Lebanon’s decades-long civil struggle has spiralled into economic collapse and governmental paralysis.

Expressing its “great concern and apprehension” over the worsening situation, the World Council of Churches’ executive committee this week called for “urgent structural reforms needed to ensure Lebanon’s stability, unity and sovereignty.”

Although governmental action is needed to address the escalating crisis and avert complete collapse, the statement noted that “Religious leaders of all communities have a particularly important role to play in guiding their people through these difficult times towards wisdom, justice, reconciliation and unity.”

Evoking the larger international stakes, the statement said, “The Lebanese people on all levels – politicians, religious leaders, civilians, young people – have a responsibility to insulate the country from the wider regional political and social forces driving the region to division and destruction,” said their statement.

The WCC’s executive committee is convening online this week, 20-24 July, to monitor and guide the WCC’s programmes and budget and support the fellowship in this time of pandemic.

Read the executive committee’s statement on Lebanon

Learn about the work of the Middle East Council of Churches