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06/19/2023 Lebanon and Syria (International Christian Concern)Christians are suffering alongside their communities from a prolonged economic crisis in Lebanon and Syria as currency devaluation, high unemployment, and deadlocked political crises plague the two nations.   

In 2019, Lebanon’s banking system failed, and with Syria’s financial systems closely connected, Lebanon also plunged deeper into crisis in addition to its decade-long civil war. 

The Lebanese currency, the Lira, has lost 98% of its value against the dollar since its crisis began in 2019. The nation’s heavy debt accumulated from reconstruction from its own 15-year civil war and political deadlocks also contributed to Lebanese banks failing and thousands of Lebanese citizens losing their savings. As poverty and unemployment continue to increase, Lebanon, which used to be a majority Christian nation but now only is 30-35% Christian, has experienced a population decline over the last several years due to high emigration resulting from the economic collapse.  

Syria has not fared any better than its neighbor Lebanon. Before the war started in 2011, the Syrian Pound traded at 50 pounds to 1 U.S. dollar. In 2023, after more than a decade of war, international sanctions, COVID-19, and the Lebanese financial crisis, the Syrian pound hit a record high this year of 9,000 Syrian pounds to one dollar while salaries and wages of Syrians have stayed relatively the same. The country’s poverty rate has soared to 90%, with most Syrians forced to make desperate sacrifices to survive day to day.  

ICC is committed to helping Christians in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East by helping Christian families improve their income opportunities to provide for their families through this time of crisis. We also work to support churches to provide for the emotional and spiritual needs of Christian families who have experienced persecution for their faith during the war and the daily pressures of surviving in Syria today.  

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