The Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches, meeting by video conference on 20-24 July 2020, expresses its great concern and apprehension about the current developments in Lebanon.
The Executive Committee is deeply alarmed by the escalating crises in Lebanon during the past weeks and months, the many associated social, economic and political difficulties, and the challenges related to the sovereignty of the country. The crises that are affecting all the population are even more detrimental to the already vulnerable groups of women, children, people with disabilities, migrant workers and refugees.
For centuries and despite a brutal civil war, Lebanon has been able to retain its ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, in a spirit of pluralism and conviviality. In the midst of a region torn apart by wars, conflicts and occupation, Lebanon has remained an example and symbol of hope and resilience. That example is now in jeopardy.
The Executive Committee affirms that it is incumbent on the government of Lebanon to keep and strengthen its role as the guarantor of the social contract, the stability and security of the country, and the public and human rights of the people. The Executive Committee expresses its support of the Lebanese people and encourages them to remain united in common solidarity in order to emerge from this crisis and not to fall into division and sectarianism. 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.
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.
The World Council of Churches stands in active solidarity with the churches and people of Lebanon, and calls on the government for urgent structural reforms needed to ensure Lebanon’s stability, unity and sovereignty.
World Council of Churches
20-24 July 2020