For centuries, the small country of Lebanon’s mountains provided a refuge for many religious minorities. Today, there are 18 official religious groups, and political power is divided among them. This ethnic and religious diversity is part of Lebanon’s cultural identity, but also a source of tension that led to a devastating civil war.
CBM’s partner, the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD), seeks to build bridges between communities against the landscape of tension and change, to facilitate peace, justice and reconciliation. LSESD has several ministries, which include leadership training, Christian-Muslim relationship building, education and support for children and youth, and relief and development work. Each of these ministries offers a unique opportunity to build relationships, share the gospel and demonstrate the reality of the Kingdom of God.
In recent years, Lebanese Baptists are responding to a new challenge – the needs of over a million refugees who have fled into Lebanon to escape the escalating crisis in Syria. Lebanese officials estimate there are currently over 1.4 million Syrians in the country, including 800,000 registered refugees.