Rescuing and serving persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note: The two plus year civil war in Syria has created one of the largest refugee crises in recent years. More than two million Syrians have fled their homeland to escape the violence. This has put a massive strain on neighboring countries and has created security concerns. In Lebanon, there are an estimated 700,000 refugees. The strain on the economy has been noticeable as prices have increased, supplies are short on basic food staples. There are also security concerns. There have been numerous militant extremists who have flooded to the region to join the fight against Bashar al-Assad. These individuals are a threat to the security of both the refugees and the host country, especially to those who are not supportive of their extremist views of Islam such as the significant Christian population in Lebanon.
8/10/2013 Syria (McClatchy) – With more than 700,000 Syrian refugees jammed into a country of fewer than 4 million that already was hosting an estimated 500,000 Syrian guest workers, tensions are rising in Lebanon, which was deeply divided even before civil war broke out in its neighbor to the east.
Three major security incidents involving car bombs, as well as a slew of smaller or unreported incidents throughout the country, have put the Lebanese back into familiar territory of not only fearing a wave of disruptive refugees – the last came in 1948, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who’ve never left fled the creation of Israel – but also facing political uncertainty that many here blame on foreigners pressing their regional aspirations.
“They’re everywhere,” Michel Abukhayr said of the refugees. “Are they ever leaving? Or will they stay forever like the Palestinians did and force their wars and culture on us?
Abukhayr describes himself as a onetime vehement opponent of the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. But now he sees the arrival of the refugees as a nightmare that’s weakened Lebanon’s tourist-based economy, and he admits to agreeing with Assad’s assessment of the president’s enemies as terrorists.
“I hate Assad,” Abukhayr said, “but he’s right about a lot of these people: They’re violent, they’re (extremists) and between them and Hezbollah they will destroy this country. Again.”
In Beirut’s southern suburbs, a stronghold of mostly Shiite Muslim Hezbollah, the militant group’s support for Assad is seen as a hedge against the regional aspirations of Saudi Arabia and Sunni Muslim ideologues aligned with al Qaida.
After two recent car bombings, Hezbollah instituted tough security measures to enter the southern neighborhoods that only the most security-conscious and efficient political and military movement in the Arab world could impose. Checkpoints mark all major entrances, and roving bands of gunmen check identification and license tags against an internal list of suspected bombers. Teams of Hezbollah militiamen range through the area at night with bomb-sniffing dogs, leaving residents feeling under siege and only slightly safer.

[Full Story]